• IDRA Newsletter • June-July 2020 •

In early June, IDRA kicked off our series of webinars on reopening schools by inviting students to share their experiences during COVID-19 school closures and their concerns about returning to school this fall. Highlights are below.

See the webinar recording, Student Perspectives on a Changing School Climate along with other webinars in the series.

“I feel very emotional. The way school ended, going from eighth grade to high school, I lost a third of my friends who I won’t be able to see or talk to again. We didn’t get to say goodbye.”

– Lena Rivas, freshman, Northside ISD

“Logically, I know we shouldn’t go back to school. And it is horrible to force students to be confined together for eight hours a day in our current climate. But emotionally, I cannot handle the isolation anymore.”

– Kennedy Kearns, senior, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD

“I think that going back to in-person teaching is a good idea. But at the same time, why would you put students in danger of catching COVID? Especially teachers, who have families to go to?”

– Gracie Hernández, recent graduate, Northside ISD

“I’ve felt extremely overwhelmed with school having to move online so quickly as well as watching the pandemic and civil unrest unfold and the killing of these innocent lives. But I hope that our voices will be heard, and it will bring some light to the situation.”

– Clarissa Tavera, junior, San Antonio ISD

“Touching on the topics of civil unrest and immigration, I feel like these topics should be openly talked about in school, considering in my particular environment there are many minorities affected by civil unrest and immigration.”

– Juliana Cruz, senior, Dallas ISD

“Along with civil unrest, I believe students should be spearheading efforts to reform school policing policy.”

– Melanie Harrell, recent graduate, San Antonio ISD

“I try to focus on being grateful that, though it sadly had to come through violence or talking extreme measures to get lawmakers’ attention, we are making change. And I am part of that generation making change.”

– Dejia Nunn, sophomore, Judson ISD

[©2020, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the June-July 2020 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]