The Covid 19 Vaccine Helps Schools Return to a Normal School Year

Graph of the number of people who have gotten both doses of the COVID vaccine in different parts of New York reported by the CDC.

With the return of sports, stings, field trips, and other traditions, students hope the policies enacted this school year will bring back a sense of normalcy. The school’s administration made the decision to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine in order to achieve this goal.

The COVID vaccine first became available on December 11th, 2020 for people ages 16 and older, and later became available for the 12+ age group in May 2021. As we continue to wait for the vaccine to become available for children under 11, some schools around the country have decided to require the vaccine for eligible students.

“It was a collision of interests, a community interest versus an individual interest, and I think this was a moment where the decision to mandate the vaccine for those eligible, was one that was really taken with a broad community interest in mind,” Upper School Director Andy King said.
One change from last school year is that vaccinated students who are deemed as close contacts to those who test positive for COVID do not have to quarantine unless they experience symptoms.

“I definitely like the decision of having the vaccine be required,” sophomore Jake Hendelmen said, “Last year I had to quarantine for a while because I was deemed a close contact to someone who had tested positive. It was tough because I much rather have been in person than being online, but now with the vaccine, I don’t have to worry about that.”

This sentiment was echoed by the majority of students interviewed by The Dial, though some did have concerns about personal liberties.

“I think it was the right decision to require the vaccine. It helps students stay in school and avoid having to go virtual. The vaccine was pretty simple to get and I think the benefits from getting it will definitely help the school stay open this year.” junior Fritz Henry said.

A majority of the student body appreciates the vaccine being required, as they now feel safer in school and believe that the vaccine has brought back old traditions and a somewhat normal school year.

“I support the school’s decision to mandate the vaccine; however, I know some people at Hackley think that it should be a personal choice and not be required to get it and I think that is a very valid argument.” sophomore Nate Peterson stated.

Although many students at Hackley support the decision, some students believe that the COVID vaccine should be their personal choice and should not be required.

A student who wanted to stay anonymous said, “I don’t think the vaccine should be required for school, last year we weren’t vaccinated and didn’t have problems with covid breakouts. We also still have to wear masks inside which I don’t think makes much sense.”

Hackley has always kept their community in mind by doing what they think is best for the school and the safety of their students. Administrators believed the vaccine would help do these things for the community.

“There are people who are concerned about it for a variety of reasons, and I respect that. You can’t be a community that talks about appreciating multiple perspectives and not expect someone to raise a question or two about it.” Mr. King said.