On Nov. 15, with COVID-19 cases rising in Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a three-week shutdown that targeted indoor social gatherings and group activities. This Michigan Department of Health and Human Services emergency order included a ban on in-person learning for high school students.
The three-week shutdown turned into more than a month, and though the ban was lifted in late December, many high schools in the state remain virtual. Detroit Public Schools Community District is planning to for its entire district to stay virtual until at least February. At a press conference Jan. 8, Whitmer set a goal for Michigan schools to open some type of in-person learning by March 1.
For some students, virtual learning has become stressful and difficult, and would prefer to be their classrooms.
“I feel like virtual makes it more difficult for me to do my work and there are computer problems,” King sophomore Takhya Carr said. “It’s just too much screen time. I learn better face-to-face but working on computers make it difficult to interact with teachers and students.”
“Being in the home environment makes me lazy and gives me the opportunity to get distracted and open up apps such as TikTok and be scrolling for at least 30 minutes,” Northwestern junior Malachi Harris said.
It’s a been a challenging time for parents too. Single parents struggle to assist their child or children with virtual learning. Most parents have jobs and cannot be alongside their child all the time.
“Being a single mother with two elementary kids, juggling two jobs is very stressful,” parent Celia Snipes said. “Coming from a job and having 2-3 hours of sleep then waking the kids up for school already is hard. Going back and forth to both kids is difficult because they’re on at the same time, both needing my assistance. Then having to turn around and go to the other job is tiring.”
But not everyone is against online learning.
“It’s easier for me to do virtual because I have more resources and time to process what I’m learning,” said Diamond Walker, a sophomore at University Preparatory Academy High.