Pandemic causes school cancelation


School is canceled by order of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis until March 30 in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

“[I was] excited that [the state] was taking precautions to limit the spread,” parent Michelle Tucker said. “Because it’s hard to get kids to wash their hands and put things in their routine that is not normally in their routine.”

In addition, all field trips and overnight athletic events have been canceled through April, according to Brevard Public Schools.

“I think schools are a good place to spread [COVID-19], even though it’s not here,” Tucker said. “It didn’t make me feel scared, it’s more like ‘They are taking the right steps.’”

Students and parents alike have been cautioned to avoid highly populated places, wash their hands, and avoid touching their face. 

“We are having conversations with our children, because we are a family of five and we have a pet,” Tucker said. “We are making sure that big gatherings aren’t happening at [our home]. If people are traveling, we are looking to see if it’s a concern. We are trying to be smart about who we let around.”

This sudden extension of Spring Break raises the question: How will missed school days be accounted for? Leading up to Spring Break, students were asked to enter their Launchpad, Google Classroom and Brevard Focus accounts in order to prepare for curriculum and classes to be published online.

“I like the steps that they took to put stuff online,” Tucker said. “I think they are being proactive and getting things ready to disseminate to students so that parents can still feel like their children are learning things and that they are still connecting with their teachers even though they are not on campus.”

However, the topic of online classes faces controversy, and remains a precautionary measure not yet enforced.

 “I do think it’s hard to expect people in less fortunate circumstances that don’t have computers and are expected to go to public places, which really isn’t the best thing,” Tucker said. “[Online classes] will not be as effective because you can’t rely on parents to force their kids to do the work, and it’s a different setting. I’m kind of half and half on that.”

Seventh-grader Matthew T. was given the message about school cancellation Friday afternoon after saying goodbye to his teachers and peers for Spring Break.

“I was excited but at the same time nervous,” Matthew said. “Because if school is getting canceled, that means that people are finally taking [COVID-19] seriously and going to the next level. But I was also pretty excited about getting another week of Spring Break.”

The spread and impact of COVID-19 remains an ever changing pattern, with new cases popping up daily. As of 11:33 a.m. March 14, there are 2,177 confirmed cases in the United States and 50 cases in Florida.

“[Science teacher Maggie] Molledo said there was a 50 to 60 percent chance that school would get canceled, which I agree with,” Matthew said. “Even though [COVID-19] hasn’t reached us, it’s all around us. So school is guaranteed to get canceled at some point.”

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By Sophia Bailly

Editor’s note: Brevard Public Schools prohibits the inclusion of middle-schoolers’ last names on district-sponsored websites.