Student Government Releases Phase 0 Plan Where Students Can “Do Whatever the Hell They Want”

This is satire.

Andrew Rosin, The Radish Editor

RADNOR – The Radnor High School Student Government unveiled their Phase 0 reopening plan on Friday, which if passed would enable students to come to school in-person “0 to 5 days per week for 0 to 8 periods per day.” The student body has argued that the district’s existing Phase 1, 2, and 3 plans do not provide students with enough flexibility: “Put simply, our goal here is to allow the students to do whatever they feel like doing, whenever they feel like doing it. If you want to go to school, great, go to school. If you want to stay home, great, stay home. If you don’t want to log onto Zoom at all, great, don’t log onto Zoom at all. Those are the main tenets of our plan,” explained a Student Government member speaking on the condition of anonymity.  

Citing current trends in student attendance, the Student Government believes that this “completely unstructured” system would best fit the student’s needs. “Listen,” an exasperated Student Government spokesperson emphasized during press time on Friday evening, “the point here is that we don’t care if you’re too lazy, too tired, too bored, too confused, or too forgetful; have Covid-19, don’t have Covid-19, have the Swine Flu, don’t have the Swine Flu, have Zombie Deer Disease, don’t have Zombie Deer Disease, have Avian Influenza, or don’t have Avian Influenza; want to get a masters in sacred theology, want to get a doctorate in abstract cooking, or want to work as a Christmas light electrician in South America. Whatever it is, we certainly can’t stop you from skipping out on in-person class.” While the Student Government considered justifying their protocols with “something real like pandemic fatigue,” they eventually opted for the logic that “we’re basically doing it now and the administration can’t do anything about it,” according to the Class of 2021 Press Secretary. The school’s failure to enforce their Phase 2 schedule has plagued RHS since the third day of entering the hybrid model. 

While there is significant support for this proposal among students, teachers have expressed more reservations. Echoing the Press Secretary’s statement, English teacher Carl Rosin views this proposal as simply formalizing the school’s existing model. The problem, Rosin argues, is that this de facto Phase 0 plan creates significant strain on the teachers: “I’ll walk you through my 1st period British Literature class last week. On Monday, I had 5 kids in class. Normal, right? On Tuesday, I had 1 kid in class. A little weak, but not too bad compared to what’s coming. On Wednesday, I had the entirety of last year’s Viewpoints section show up to class. On Thursday, I had 0 kids in my first and eighth period classes and 87 students in my 3rd period British Literature section. And on Friday, I had 3 students from Señora Alfonso’s 7th period Spanish 5 class, 6 students from Orchestra, and 2 students from Mrs. Tyson’s 5th period Seminar Precalculus section all in my first period British Literature class. I was patient until the math students tried to schedule office hours with me to explain sinusoidal graphing.”

Many teachers raise similar concerns to those of Mr. Rosin; however, one cannot judge the student’s demands without fully understanding the role the administration played in the situation. From the first day of the hybrid model, the school district has anchored their Covid-19 precautions on the claim that they were “somewhat less rigorous than college campuses but better than nothing.” Despite this arbitrary declaration, students reportedly do not feel safe in the school as Covid-19 cases surge throughout the country. According to the Student Government, this unease explains why students sometimes come to school and sometimes don’t without following any discernable pattern or logic. Radnor High School Principal Panayota Kevgas insisted that the school has in fact been trying to return to the Phase 3 model, but ran into a serious roadblock last week. “No one can find the Phase 3 guidelines,” Mrs. Kevgas complained, “I put them down on my desk and now they’re missing. Everyone in the district has been searching for them, but it’s like they disappeared.” Mrs. Kevgas added that as soon as the school administrators are able to locate the misplaced Phase 3 guidelines, Radnor High School will transition to that model.

In the meantime, the Student Government plans to meet with the school administration this Wednesday to discuss their new proposal. “We’re optimistic that Mrs. Kevgas will realize just how little everyone follows the Cohort-based schedule at this point, and that she will move to approve our proposal accordingly,” the Senior Class Advisors remarked in a written statement last week. Mrs. Kevgas is expected to have a favorable stance on this proposal, as she herself stumped teachers by Zooming into their October performance reviews with her camera and microphone turned off. Says one RHS senior, “The hybrid model has taught me that school schedules are but a social construct designed to suppress creativity and limit expression. In tailoring my virtual to in-person learning balance specifically to my needs, I have opened up the floodgates of personal expression. And I maybe, but probably not, no definitely not, made the lives of my classmates, teachers, and administrators less complicated in the process.’”