We checked in with our local students who are part of the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs and asked what they find most worrying about going back to school in-person, how their environment’s changed, and what they wish adults knew about going to school nowadays.


Full transcript:

Mariah Davis, FV Pankow Center, 11th Grade:

I’m most frustrated about the fact that school just hasn’t been the same since COVID hit, and I get that there’s nothing you can do about it, but it’s just really frustrating.


Jannani Elavarasu, Novi Middle School, 8th Grade:

As an in-person student, I think I’m concentrating on a lot more on my studies.


Emilio Acosta Casas, Novi Middle School, 8th Grade:

For the last six weeks of school, I was hybrid, going only once a week for two hours. So the change of now going to a completely different school and country is contributing to my struggle with the school year.


Abbey Leneway, FV Pankow Center, 12th Grade:

Our school environment has changed dramatically from last year, as last year there were sanitizing stations everywhere. There were boxes of masks just out all over the place in every classroom and social distancing stickers on the floor, whereas now we don’t have any of that. We can be mask free. We can see each other’s faces, and it’s for the better.


Zion Williams, FV Pankow Center, 11th Grade:

I’m kind of frustrated about that there’s no mask mandate just because I would be more comfortable if people were masked.


Lia Jones, Fraser High School, 12th Grade:

I’m frustrated that kids aren’t taking it super seriously. I mean, I definitely think that it is a little bit safer than it once was, but people are acting like it’s not a problem at all anymore, which I don’t think that’s true.


Calvin Custance, Fraser High School, 11th Grade:

I’m most worried about the quarantining and specifically for sports, just all the rules that are set in place as if, like, even if you’re just in contact, like, you have to quarantine for 10 days and like for a sports team if one person, get like, gets it. That’s multiple kids on the team that you’re going to lose for your next game.


Charlie Anderson, Fraser High School, 11th Grade:

I wish they understood that it doesn’t feel safe to be in a room with 30 other kids who might as well be carrying the coronavirus. It’s incredibly stressful. I never stop thinking about it. It’s-it’s kind of hell.


Jamieson Verkest, FV Pankow Center, 12th Grade:

I think it’s most frustrating that adults, they want us to like, all stop wearing masks and everything and then act like it’s like the worst thing I’ve ever which, I mean. Like most students, I feel like, don’t care. Like, we were fine with wearing masks. It’s not a big deal. And they play it up to seem like a huge thing.


Julia Wilkins, FV Pankow Center, 12th Grade:

I wish the adults making our decisions for our district focused more on mental health and our resources because often times when students are put into lockdown, their overall mental health decreases.



Allison Jones, Novi Middle School, 8th Grade:

Something that’s been really bothering me about this time is just the adults, because although they’re going through the exact same thing we are, they’re not as vulnerable to it, because we’re still developing and we don’t have as much control over our lives as they do.