Augusta High student starts petition to move back school start date over COVID-19 concerns

Published: Aug. 2, 2020 at 10:01 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - An Augusta High School student now has more than 230 signatures on a petition she started to move back the first day of school, after the principal confirmed Friday that a student tested positive for COVID-19, and that it may impact both the dance team and the band. 

"I knew there had been positive cases in our zip code, but hearing it come from school and then finding out it was someone in my grade the same age as me, that made it become more real to me," said Juliene Fuson, who started the petition. 

Augusta High School Principal Rick Rivera said the Butler County Health Department is guiding the school on contact tracing and quarantine measures. 

Fuson thinks with school starting in less than a month, not enough measures are being taken to make sure students are safe. That's why she started the petition. 

"Changing the start day to at least Labor Day like other schools have done and following the recommendation, that's our main goal," she said. "At least getting it out to the school board and showing them it's not just one student that's worried, it's multiple high schoolers and people in the community and parents worried." 

As of Sunday, more than 230 people have signed the petition. Students do have the option to do remote learning at Augusta, but she said she hasn't made that decision yet. 

“Personally, I know i learn better in person than online and I would rather be in person,” she said. “I am ready to be in school. I’ve heard critics say you must not be ready to go back but I’m more than ready. I’m supposed to be the debate president this year, I want to see my friends and teachers and not have to worry about this.” 

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