Editorial: Reduced distancing at schools has both its pros and cons

Staff Editorial

More states are exploring the idea of sitting students closer together in schools, reducing the distance between them from six feet to three feet.

This push comes after research into schools in Massachusetts, which has been distancing students at three feet, found that the closer distance has not led to an increased risk for the students or their teachers, so long as they are all masked and the teacher is vaccinated.

Illinois is along the states that is following the three-foot guideline, and others are considering it as well.

We at The Daily Eastern News think that it is a good idea to use three-foot distancing, as it will allow more children to resume their education in person.

There are several things to consider, though.

Schools will likely not be able to return to full capacity even with reduced distancing, so students that are struggling with remote learning should be prioritized if in-person class sizes increase.

There is another option, which would be to keep things the same for the rest of the school year and not bring students back into classrooms. Many children have already had to make a difficult transition to virtual learning, and having them transition back to the classroom may cause unnecessary stress.

But as long as states are doing so safely, reducing distancing is certainly a possibility to consider.