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SWFL students weigh in on back-to-school options

Parents of students within school districts in Lee and Collier counties have less than a week to make choices for going back. One factor that might play into the decision is what students themselves would want.

We spoke to a three high school students Wednesday who shared different perspectives about the different schooling options this year.

All three the students told us they miss the classroom experience, but they want to choose the best and safest option for them.

“It just takes away an experience without being a part of your school, I feel like,” rising junior said Ashlynn Watkins, a rising junior at Riverdale High School.

“I feel like every student feels it’s better to learn in person,” said Ana Olvera, a rising freshman at Golden Gate High School.

But they realize it’s not that simple.

Allison McClary is the great-granddaughter of Mary Fischer with Lee County School Board. She says safety is number one.

“Yes, they were friends that you may want to go see, but it’s more of our health,” said McClary, a rising freshman at North Fort Myers High School. “And are we going to be OK.”

McClary and Olvera are set to start their first year of high school next month, but both are unsure if they will start in person.

“We are really just playing it by ear right now, but I do you want to go virtual,” McClary said.

“I don’t want to see others,” Olvera said. “My peers or other students have to be scared going into school.”

But Watkins says she misses school and cheerleading on the sidelines of football games with her team, and she’s planning to go back.

“I feel like we all should go back to school as long as we follow all of the rules,” Watkins said.

Gov. Ron DeSantis shared a message of hope for students Wednesday.

He reminded them that they are the future of Florida, and that they will be given the chance to reach their full potential.

Whether virtual or in person, students say they are staying hopeful.

“We will get through this,” McClary said.

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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