The coronavirus pandemic has been wreaking havoc on the world for almost 6 months now. But, till the time a vaccine against the virus is developed, we have to learn to adapt to the ‘new normal’. And to begin this, countries across the globe are thinking of reopening schools and colleges. The leaders of the world are trying their best to save the precious academic year of students. I know that most of us have joked around with our friends that one ‘fake cough’ and the schools and colleges will be shut again. However, the UK government has an answer to this problem too. The Daily Mail reported that one particular UK school has warned parents that their child will be suspended if he/she does not abide by the COVID-19 guidelines that include a restriction on ‘fake coughing’.
The school in East Sussex has mentioned some coronavirus red lines for students. These include restrictions such as joking about coronavirus and using another year’s group’s toilet. An associate principal at the East Sussex School, Jerome Scafe, said in his letter, “The following behaviors may result in a fixed-term exclusion: deliberate or malicious coughs/sneezes at any point; humorous, inappropriate comments or statements related to the coronavirus pandemic; purposeful physical contact with any other person; repeated failure to follow instructions within an appropriate time frame resulting in the student being removed from the lesson.”
Furthermore, the school has made it clear that if the students do not use their assigned lavatories or eat their meals at their respective desks, they will face disciplinary action. Moreover, other schools have proposed that students wear PPE kits to schools. To prevent the spread of the coronavirus through beverages, schools will also be supplying their students with recyclable cups. Another school named Byron Academy said in its letter to the students, “Some behaviors (eg: coughing deliberately on another person) that were previously ‘simply’ anti-social, are now potentially extremely serious. If any student willfully ignores or refuses to follow instructions relating to hygiene routines and social distancing between year group bubbles’ will be moved and if teachers conclude it is putting others at risk then patients should expect that their child may be excluded.”
Although these measures might seem a little harsh at first, they’re made by keeping the welfare of students in mind. Hopefully, by following the COVID-19 guidelines laid down by schools, students will be able to get back to their studies and adapt to the new normal.