Staying united across screens

Students maintain school pride through social media


Allison Stamey

Student Council officers meet virtually over Webex throughout at-home learning.

In the days before spring break, students were filled with excitement, ready to go home and spend time with their friends and family away from school. However, only six days into spring break on Thursday, March 19, Texas started shutting down, halting students’ plans.

“I think before spring break a lot of people were unconcerned with how COVID-19 was going to affect us because it hadn’t hit close to home yet,” senior StuCo vice president Meara Kelleher said. “Now that it’s in our state, city, community and even some of our homes, I think a lot of people now realize the severity of what we were all once joking about.”

As at-home learning continues, teachers and staff have to worry about their students from afar as their only communication is now through Webex, Canvas and emails. As students and teachers stand witness to the ongoing chaos of the pandemic, they also have to test their new terrain of online learning. 

“Our mindset is on the students and making sure they have what they need to be successful,” StuCo adviser Stamey Allison said. “The students are new to all of this and each one has their own set of circumstances they deal with, so we as staff always are concerned that we won’t be seeing them anymore. We hope they stay in touch with us through Canvas or Webex. I hope everyone realizes that faces in phones aren’t what we want in life. We need human connection. Most of us are social and like to see, talk and laugh with others.”

With hopes to spread positivity, all campuses have been active on social media, retweeting students’ tweets on online spirit days such as flashback Fridays, jersey days, senior spotlights and videos from staff, students and alumni. However, a large online presence can bring negativity on social media, which Harmon principal Tony Fontana works to avoid.

“I don’t engage with negative matters on social media,” Fontana said. “People are drawn to negativity, so I work to drown that out and speak louder with positivity.”

Although the rest of the year is halted, senior class project officer Semi Ojerinde encourages fellow students to keep positive spirits. She advises keeping a healthy mindset and caring for loved ones around. She believes it’s necessary to keep connected through social media and lift spirits with positivity.

“Don’t look at this as the end of everything,” Ojerinde said. “Tough times happen, this is just another one that we will get through if we all make the best out of the situation. Try your hardest to stay positive and look for joy in the little things around you, and check on one another, whether family or friend, to make sure that everyone else is safe and healthy.”