Covid Effects on Students: Before and After

Rex Davis and Kellsy Cecil

Covid affected students in many different ways. It causes stunted development for social skills and the maturity is lower than the average for their age group. Students not being in school due to quarantine gave them lots of extra time to do things, maybe even try new things. Some new things that students tried have affected them in school now that they are back.
After talking to school faculty and different students of different age groups, it is obvious that quarantine/not being in school has affected everyone in different ways whether it be good or bad.
Calvin, who is a security guard at Gloucester High School, says that after school opened back up, he has seen more kids get into trouble than ever in his time working here, and that freshmen acted more well behaved before schools had closed down.
He says that freshmen are more destructive of school property, have more addiction, and lack effort or motivation to participate in school. He says he thinks a majority of kids, especially freshmen, lack social skills and have lost a large amount of social development.
He says this causes problems with communicating correctly with other peers and staff at the school. Some of the biggest issues he sees now is violence and drug addiction. He says he has seen a difference in staff as well and while he enjoys working here, he thinks a large majority of the school needs to work on communication.
Mr. Lord, a counselor at Gloucester High School mentioned that he has seen both positive and negative changes in students and staff. One of the biggest problems he has seen with the new group of kids is the unhealthy hobbies that they have picked up on such as vaping, smoking, fighting, and vandalism.
Obviously schools have always had this problem, but it has become more common after students weren’t in school for longer periods of time during covid.
Staff has seen a bigger problem with vaping. They believe this is because students all do it, so no one their age is telling them to stop (self/peer regulating). Mr. Lord did say that “It isn’t nirvana..” meaning it’s not going to be a peaceful, perfect place, but “covid stress related behavior” did cause the students behavior to worsen.
Faculty has been put under more stress having to handle the changes in students and adults around them causing more student-teacher “fights.”
Even after talking to students, they said that they can see a change in their peers behavior and in their own behavior. Students being out of school and not around such large groups of other people, have “prolonged their social development skills” which is the cause of most fights (lack of social and communication skills).
Calvin’s advice for this is just, “stay out of trouble.” Because getting in trouble won’t do anything but hurt you in the long run, Mr. Lord says to try talking to friends who you know will help you, try talking to trusted adults, join clubs and try to recognize what you might be doing isn’t a good thing and try to fix it.