How this High School Petition Represents Privilege Amidst Uncertainty

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Tuesday, May 5, 2020


It’s no secret that the Coronavirus pandemic has taken an unprecedented toll on American lives. As of April 23, there are more than 850,000 Americans who have tested positive for COVID-19, with just over 43,000 dead. State governments have issued lockdown orders for all non-essential workers in order to curb the spread of the virus. These actions, while necessary to protect the public health, have left more than twenty-six million Americans filing for unemployment in the past five weeks, The New York Times reports. Meanwhile, schools across the country have switched to operating online classes so that millions of students can finish their semesters or graduate on time. 

In spite of these efforts, the Glastonbury High School Class of 2020 from Glastonbury, Connecticut recently started a petition to cancel all of their classes for the remainder of the semester. 

The petition claims that because many of the seniors have made plans for their futures following their graduation, cancelling all classes would “not affect their futures.” It goes on to argue that seniors are too busy “working and dealing with many issues outside of school” and that classes that exceed twenty-five minutes “put the mental health of the seniors at risk.” The petition currently has 643 signatures. 

In a time when younger Americans are chastised by older generations for being lazy, ‘asking for free handouts,’ and unwilling to put in the hard work necessary for success, this petition does nothing but prove their point. 

For context, I graduated from Glastonbury High School in 2019. After going through my first year in college, I now recognize how much the education system in Glastonbury prepared me for the success that I’ve found thus far and I will be forever grateful for that. This petition, on the other hand, shows the opposite of grace. In fact, it shows privilege. 

Glastonbury High School is ranked in the top 30 high schools in Connecticut and among the top 1000 in the country by US News. By starting a petition to cancel all classes, the GHS Class of 2020 has demonstrated that they don’t value the education they receive in Glastonbury. There are many students across the country who have to struggle through failing school systems and would be much more grateful than the GHS Class of 2020, had they had the opportunity, or better yet, privilege to study there. 

If there are is any group of Americans that deserves a break more than the GHS Class of 2020, it would be the healthcare workers who risk their lives on the front lines of this pandemic every day, the millions of workers who lost their jobs because of the lockdowns, or even the thousands of families who lost their loved ones to the virus. 

I feel for the entire Class of 2020 for missing out on the experiences that I had with the Class of 2019 or that others had with previous classes, but that’s no excuse to whine about a few more weeks of school work, especially when they have nothing else to do inside their houses.

If the GHS Class of 2020, or anyone for that matter, wants to succeed in college and beyond, they have to be willing to work hard no matter what the circumstances may be. Think about how the high school students from the early 1940s felt when they were drafted to fight in World War II, or those from the late 1960s being drafted to fight in Vietnam. Those kids weren’t even able to graduate in the first place but ultimately, they did what their country asked them to do, whether they liked it or not. 

Right now, the country is not asking the Class of 2020 to go to war for us. It is asking them, and all of us, to stay home and do our best to work as we otherwise would. That’s what we should all focus on doing. 

Matthew J Convard is a graduate from Glastonbury High School and a student at the University of Connecticut where he is pursuing a major in political science and a minor in economics. He aspires to become an elected official and serve his country.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Matthew Convard

Matthew J Convard is a graduate from Glastonbury High School and a student at the University of Connecticut where he is pursuing a major in political science and a minor in economics. He aspires to become an elected official and serve his country.

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