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In another sign of the irregularities of life during the coronavirus pandemic, a high school senior in New York has been suspended because he wanted to attend classes in person on a day he was supposed to be learning from home.
“I was going to school like students should be going to school,” Long Island student Maverick Stow, a student at William Floyd High School, told WABC, adding that he believes students should be in school five days a week.
He further explained that when he arrived on school grounds staff there took his temperature and he proceeded to his first-period class.
Once in class, however, his teacher noted that he was not on the class roster for the day and informed administrators who asked him to report to the principal’s office.
Stow said administrators asked him to leave the school grounds because he wasn’t supposed to be there on that day, but he refused.
“Well, no, I think I need to go to class. This is during class time,” he told WABC, adding that he left the principal’s office and went on to class.
Stow said he remained at school for the rest of the day and finished his classes but at day’s end, he was told by school officials that he was being suspended for five days.
“I was going to school like students should be going to school. I think that a five-day suspension is out of line,” he told the outlet.
His parents said they fully support their son.
“Kids need to be in school every day,” said Maverick’s mother, Nora Kaplan-Stow. “Virtual learning is not learning. My son is being suspended because he wants to be in school.”
Maverick’s father, Richard Stow, said that his son informed him and his mother what he was going to do beforehand.
“He’s a very smart kid. He knows what he’s doing. When he said this is how he wanted to handle things, we were like, ‘Then go for it,'” Richard Stow said.
In a statement to WABC, school district officials said the new hybrid education schedule and policies are in place to ensure administrators are following social distancing mandates imposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s regime.
“In order to adhere to these guidelines, it is imperative that students attend school during their scheduled in-person days only,” said the district’s Public Relations Director, James Montalto.
“Students who refuse to adhere to their scheduled in-person days and/or flagrantly disregard directives to leave school grounds and cause a disruptive environment for other students, will face disciplinary actions,” he added.
But Maverick Stow was adamant.
“The virus doesn’t discriminate on Mondays or Tuesdays or Thursdays or Fridays. That’s not how it works,” he told WABC.
Most schools around the country are being reopened in a similar manner, with some in-person instruction and some virtual learning as well, mostly to comply with state-imposed distancing mandates.
However, there have been scores of complaints regarding virtual learning since schools began implementing it during the pandemic, with many parents complaining that their children are not learning as well as they would in person.
And in early August, as some teachers were rebelling against in-person learning, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy paper noting that the science indicates kids and teens are not virus ‘super spreaders’ while recommending that they be allowed to attend school.
“Almost 6 months into the pandemic, accumulating evidence and collective experience argue that children, particularly school-aged children, are far less important drivers of SARS-CoV-2 transmission than adults,” the analysis said.
“Therefore, serious consideration should be paid toward strategies that allow schools to remain open, even during periods of COVID-19 spread.”