High School Student Slapped With 5-Day Suspension For Coming To Class On Remote Learning Day

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Teacher explaining chemistry model to students (Jon Feingersh Photography Inc/Getty Images)
Jon Feingersh Photography Inc/Getty Images

A New York student was suspended from his high school for five days on Tuesday after showing up to campus on a day he was supposed to attend classes remotely.

Maverick Stow, 17, is a senior at William Floyd High School in Long Island. Stow said that he attended class on Tuesday because he believes that he should be in school five days a week as was policy before states began locking down over the coronavirus, according to WABC.

Stow said he showed up to the school and had his temperature checked by staff before walking to his first class. Administrators called Stow to the principal’s office after his teacher noticed he was not on the roster to attend class in person that day.

The principal asked Stow to leave campus, to which he replied, “Well, no, I think I need to go class. This is during class time,” Stow said. He said he attended class for the rest of the day, but at the end the principal told him he was suspended for five days for violating the school’s coronavirus policy.

The school district said that students must adhere to a staggered remote/in-class schedule so that the school can comply with the state’s social distancing rules.

“In order to adhere to these guidelines, it is imperative that students attend school during their scheduled in-person days only,” William Floyd School District Public Relations Director James Montalto said. “Students who refuse to adhere to their scheduled in-person days and/or flagrantly disregard directives to leave school grounds and cause a disruptive environment for other students, will face disciplinary actions.”

Stow defended his decision to attend class in person, as did his parents.

“I was going to school like students should be going to school. I think that a five-day suspension is out of line,” he said. “The virus doesn’t discriminate on Mondays or Tuesdays or Thursdays or Fridays. That’s not how it works.”

Stow’s mother, Nora Kaplan-Stow, said, “Kids need to be in school every day. Virtual learning is not learning … My son is being suspended because he wants to be in school.”

His father, Richard Stow, said, “He’s a very smart kid. He knows what he’s doing. When he said this is how he wanted to handle things, we were like, ‘Then go for it.’”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that states and communities push to open schools as soon as possible citing the relatively low risk the coronavirus poses to students.

“The best available evidence from countries that have opened schools indicates that COVID-19 poses low risks to school-aged children, at least in areas with low community transmission, and suggests that children are unlikely to be major drivers of the spread of the virus,” the CDC says in its guidance. “Reopening schools creates opportunity to invest in the education, well-being, and future of one of America’s greatest assets — our children — while taking every precaution to protect students, teachers, staff and all their families.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics has taken a similar position, citing the relatively high risk to students of depression, abuse, and other factors that increase as they spend more time away from school.

Related: Biden: Trump’s To Blame For Empty Schools. Cruz: ‘Pssst … Joe … You’re The One Saying Shut Them All Down’

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