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PSU Response to COVID-19

Updated: Jun 6, 2020

Here at Philadelphia Student Union, we pride ourselves on vocalizing the needs and challenges our members face as students within the Philadelphia School District. Unfortunately, we have all been impacted by the COVID-19 situation in ways we could never imagine. Nevertheless, our students show great resolve by still making their voices heard!

Some of our members are devastated by the news of school closings throughout the region, as many were rising juniors/seniors looking forward to prom or other festivities.

One student expressed, "I feel hopeless as to how this school year is going to continue. Me and my fellow classmates struggled through depression, anxiety and personal problems for four years to get to prom, and to experience a high school graduation. Now to learn that it's a possibility that we may not get that opportunity is devastating and heartbreaking."

More concern has been expressed about the state of the health care system in America. According to one student, "I feel as more information comes out about this virus that governments across the world aren't doing enough to help their people and hospitals until far too late. I was not particularly disturbed by Covid-19 but as more times goes by it gets increasingly disturbing to my family and lifestyle."

Our members believe that just because school buildings are closed til the end of the school year, doesn't mean progress can't be made in the meantime. Members continue to advocate for the school board and other decision makers to improve the experience of Philadelphia's most valuable asset, its students.

"I hope that this can be a constructive experience for the district and the higher powers that fund it and legislate policy surrounding it. I have seen the divide between students in private schools (who) have ready access to online learning options while district students are unable to learn for a yet unknown amount of time. As someone without enough experience of the depth of inequity in district schools, I can't say much more from personal experience, but I really hope that for now, the systems in place are enough to mitigate the harm of the current situation."

We hope that as we continue to support student leadership and spread their requests as much as possible, we will see a more equitable school system for all! Please continue to reach out to us and if you are a student and have concerns around schooling through the quarantine, share a social media post with the hashtag #YouthSpeakonCOVID19.

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