With the rise of COVID-19 cases last spring, schools across Washington moved to remote learning, but is this method of learning harming students’ health?

The lack of community engagement, study groups and classroom discussion leaves students feeling alone and isolated. Multiple studies have shown an increase in depression and anxiety since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students feel uncomfortable participating online with their cameras on. At home, distractions and technical issues make it hard for students to keep focused and motivated.

Many students feel that they are given reading and assignments with very little teacher-student interaction. With mental-health facilities already reaching their limits, there must be a better solution to keep students on track and supported. More and more studies are showing that schools have some of the lowest COVID-19 transmission rates and can be a safe place for learning. Less self-study and more student engagement is crucial to making learning more interactive and valuable.

Mental health has always been a social stigma, tucked away from the public eye. When do we start prioritizing and advocating for the mental health of students?

Marissa Klemmer, Colbert