Students Petition Against 2022 School Re-Openings Across The Washington DC Area

As 2022 begins, K-12 schools throughout the nation are preparing for students to return for in-person instruction after winter break. However, soaring cases of the Omicron variant have made the return to schools a major source of controversy in Northern Virginia and Maryland.

The Omicron variant has spread across the world far faster than all prior COVID-19 variants. Despite this, many researchers and medical professionals have found that those with Omicron tend to suffer less severe symptoms. More specifically, most people who contract the Omicron variant tend only to suffer a sore throat, congestion, and a dry cough. Only a small percent of those who contract Omicron develop pneumonia. This does not mean that Omicron is to be taken lightly: due its infectiousness, Omicron has already began to overwhelm hospital systems around the world.


Omicron has hit Northern Virginia and Maryland especially hard. As of 1/7/2022, the COVID-19 positivity rate in Maryland is 30% and will likely keep climbing according to the Mayo Clinic. Meanwhile, over 250,000 people in Northern Virginia have COVID-19. Yet many school districts have decided to continue in-person school even despite the rapid increase in cases. This has prompted many parents, teachers, and students to call for schools to either close until the situation has calmed or to institute virtual school or a hybrid solution out of fear for their safety.


In Montgomery County, Maryland this fight is beginning to invigorate. Students and staff have begun a petition against MCPS(Montgomery County Public Schools) to prevent them from continuing in-person school and institute a virtual learning system. A quote from the petition: “A month ago, MCPS announced that if a school reached a student infection rate of 5 percent, the school would be reviewed by MCPS and the Department of Health and Human Services to go virtual for two weeks. County officials are scared now -- one day after winter break, 11 schools were above the 5% rate, and two days later, 126 schools were. Not expecting this extreme upsurge, the county is scrambling now, trying to force us to stay in school, even though they know it is unsafe… We need to resist this hypocrisy and keep students and MCPS staff members safe, not to mention possibly immunocompromised family members.” Similar petitions are also beginning to take root in hotspots like Fairfax County, VA. However, these petitions have not led any county school boards to take action yet.


Social Media: As 2022 begins, K-12 schools throughout the nation are preparing for students to return for in-person instruction after winter break. soaring cases of the Omicron variant have made the return to schools is a major source of controversy in Northern Virginia and Maryland.


The Omicron variant has spread across the world far faster than all prior COVID-19 variants. many researchers and medical professionals have found that those with Omicron tend to suffer less severe symptoms


Omicron has hit Northern Virginia and Maryland especially hard. As of 1/7/2022, the COVID-19 positivity rate in Maryland is 30% and will likely keep climbing according to the Mayo Clinic. Meanwhile, over 250,000 people in Northern Virginia have COVID-19. Yet many school districts have decided to continue in-person school even despite the rapid increase in cases.


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