The Local Lens: Omicron variant impacts families, not only students


Avani Munji

Coppell Independent School District (CISD) has introduced a new two-minute warning bell before the end of passing period. The Sidekick executive editorial page editor Sreeja Mudumby thinks the bell is a beneficial addition to reduce tardies.

Varshitha Korrapolu, Communications Manager

I am thankful for having the opportunity to engage in in-person learning at the moment. However, I do not want it as it is putting the lives of parents and grandparents at risk. 

As COVID-19 continues to overwhelm the world, the virus is testing our abilities to fight an illness such as this. The omicron variant, the current dominant variant of COVID-19, arrived in Texas on Dec. 6. After cases were on the rise, the scientific community stated that this variant is more contagious than previous ones

People in the Coppell Independent School District are worried. People are scared. Worldwide, children are losing their parents and guardians to COVID-19. 

To protect their families, CISD parents and students emailed Coppell Middle School West Principal Sarah Thornton requesting for online learning. Principals do not have the authority to make that decision, but they can voice the concerns of parents to those with power. 

CISD established COVID-19 protocols on its website. One of the protocols is a required five-day quarantine for those testing positive for COVID-19 and an optional five-day quarantine for those exposed to the virus. This is where the problem arises. 

I was absent from school on Jan. 18 even though I did not have symptoms of COVID-19 because both of my parents tested positive. But my sister and I went to school the next day, each wearing masks, as we tested negative and did not show any signs or symptoms of the virus. We were exposed to COVID-19 at home, but we needed to go to school so that we would not fall behind.

Despite CISD’s efforts to enforce safety measures, my sister and I will be exposed to COVID-19 at school as well. There are people that tested positive for COVID-19, quarantined for five days, and came back to school without a negative test result just because most of their symptoms resolve and the policies allow for that. 

I barely ever see people utilizing the sanitizer dispensers around the school. And in terms of keeping the school clean, Coppell High School assistant principal Zane Porter had to come on the announcements on Friday to remind students to take care and clean up after themselves. 

My parents were not at a high risk of contracting COVID-19 and did not have underlying conditions that would worsen their symptoms. But there are parents and grandparents of CISD students who are at a higher risk. 

Even though cases are starting to fall, we need to remember that omicron is more contagious than the previous variants. As long as COVID-19 continues to mutate, we need to be cautious of our community’s health. 

A possible solution is to adopt temporary online learning, which is not the most desirable option but universities such as University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University and Trinity University, chose to do so, as we must prioritize the health of CISD families. However, since CISD would not receive funding if it chose to do online school, it can focus on keeping campuses clean by penalizing students for not following safety procedures. 

Follow Varshitha (@varshitha1128) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.