A List of School Restrictions That Don’t Make Sense

 

  • No Singing Indoors 

The reason that prohibitions against singing are obviously incorrect is not that they have no basis in disease prevention—they do—but that there are many analogous activities that we’ve already decided to allow. We generally see singing (especially choral singing) as a high-risk activity because it’s loud and sustained for a long time, but we are clearly allowed to speak to people at whatever volume we want indoors or outdoors for however long we want. If we believe that our safety precautions are adequate with regards to speaking loudly for extended periods of time, what reason do we have to prohibit singing?

Another simple analogy can be made to athletic activities. We are all aware that sports (especially contact sports) are highly conducive to the spread of Covid-19, but since many students care about sports immensely and we are all vaccinated, we have deemed it a responsible risk to restrict sports as little as possible.

Just as sports are very important to many students, choral singing and indoor performances are really important to many students and are “strongly inhibited” by Covid-19 restrictions, according to one member of the choir. They cited a plethora of reasons to support this claim, such including the detriments to sound delivery, acoustics, and the ability to coordinate with the rest of the choir.

  • 7:15 Health Checks

Ironically, one of the most useless Covid-19 protocols we undertake is one which seems incredibly important for maintaining health and vigilance.

In a completely vaccinated population, breakthrough infections are incredibly rare. According to CBS News, even if we had open contact to society and our population was not predominantly young, breakthrough infections only happen to about 1 in every 500 people. Moreover, if someone were to contract Covid-19, temperature checks would never detect it. Even in unvaccinated populations, less than 8% of people are feverous while they are contagious, according to a paper from Indiana University. 

Finally, since only 2.5% of the (unvaccinated) population start developing symptoms within 2.2 days, and we do Covid-19 tests every Monday, the odds that our temperature checks before Thursday find a Covid-19 case is approximately 1 in 500.

It’s not that we oppose caution, but that temperature checks are so hilariously inefficient that we could obtain much more information by simply asking whether anyone feels fatigued or ill at check-in, as these symptoms are much more common (according to the same Indiana University study).

  • Locking Down the School at Night

Students looking for rooms with whiteboards at night for group projects and problem sets will quickly notice that pretty much every room is locked. Although the reasoning for these early lockings remains slightly cryptic, it’s hard to imagine any good reason for them.

For example, if the classrooms are locked because students are messy, shouldn’t we simply push students to clean up after themselves? We are a school, after all; wouldn’t it make more sense for us to inculcate a sense of responsibility in our students than to simply restrict their bad behavior?

And if the reason the classrooms are locked is to discourage promiscuous activities in the evenings, maybe it’s worth considering whether we should sacrifice academic cooperation for a marginal decrease in licentious interactions (as the demand is hardly elastic). It may also be worth considering why we are so acutely interested in curbing these evening extracurriculars.

Finally, the idea that classrooms are locked due to Covid-19 concerns also doesn’t make sense either since the restriction in usable space only encourages more crowding in the schoolhouse.

There seems to be no truly reasonable justification for locking these rooms down, so why do we seem to do it with such haste and eagerness?