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Student challenges Davis School District plans to return to class

FILE: KSL TV

SALT LAKE CITY — A high school student in quarantine is battling the Davis School District as it plans to return to in-person learning four days a week.

Clearfield High School junior Mazie Sessions, 16, who is on a 14-day quarantine because she was exposed at school, started a petition to keep her school open for in-person learning twice a week and online learning for the other three days.

As of Tuesday, Mazie said she has collected 2,476 signatures on her petition to stay on a hybrid schedule.

But the Davis School District plans to return students to school for in-person instruction four days a week.

Back to school plans in the Davis District

According to the district website, elementary school students in the Davis School District will transition from two-days-a-week face-to-face instruction to four days a week beginning Monday, Sept. 28. Junior high and high school students will make a similar transition beginning Monday, Oct. 5.

Mazie said so far the Davis County School Board has not responded to her concerning her petition, adding that the superintendent is on vacation.

She said originally her classmates originally signed the petition, but now parents and teachers have also signed on.

What the petitioners say

In their comments on the petition, Mazie said teachers are angry that the Davis School District changed plans and switched the schedule so suddenly.

With the scheduling switch, she said teachers are having to rewrite their lesson plans.

“Mazie, give us your best argument for keeping the hybrid schedule the way it is right now in the Davis School District?” Debbie asked.

She said her main concern is safety. She said she watched the school board meeting Tuesday and “it was long and boring, but a lot of good points were made.”

Mazie said the board acknowledged that social distancing will no longer be possible by going back to full capacity four days a week.

No social distancing

“They said they would try their best, but in reality they can’t do it anymore,” she said.

Dave asked Mazie what it’s been like in quarantine.

“It’s been very scary,” she said. “Especially because I was told I don’t know  who tested positive or how close I was to this person. I was told that I was in close contact to them for more than an entire class period.”

Mazie said she has asthma and was afraid she could bring COVID-19 to her family and grandparents who are high-risk. She said her test results came back negative. However, she remains in quarantine for the safety of others in case the test result was a false negative.

Mazie said she has been receiving instruction online while in quarantine.

“Teachers have been very excepting and very helpful. They’re answering emails. They’re just incredible. Teachers have been amazing with all of kedthis,” she said.

“I have to choose”

“What’s your biggest fear” of students returning to a four-days-a-week schedule? Debbie asked.

“I’m afraid to watch my friends get quarantined,” Mazie said. She added with the hybrid system class sizes remain below 20 students wearing masks and staying six feet apart.

“Right now I feel safe. If the district were no longer to use this hybrid system, I would not feel safe going to school,” she said.

Mazie said she has been taking high school classes for college credit. 

“I have to choose between moving online and dropping these college courses . . . or try to go to school but be concerned for my safety, my friends’ safety, my family’s safety every second of the day, and that’s not a stress I want to put on my life,” she said.

 

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