Earlier this month, Clark Magnet High School cancelled the scheduled picture day for 9th, 10th and 11th graders. The picture day was slated to be on Dec. 2, from noon to 4 p.m. However, rising COVID-19 numbers prompted Clark to cancel the picture day.
According to the flyer sent out by Clark, safety measures that would have been implemented during picture taking were multiple hand sanitization and temperature check stations, check in stations that record student information for contact tracing, and mandatory face mask wearing. Students would have been spaced out into three sections, both in lining up and at the photobooths.
In light of the cancellation, sophomore Vanya Arakelian said that she was disappointed. “We wanted picture day to happen to create some kind of normalcy. Like there’s something nostalgic about taking photos at school,” she said. Arakelian is on the yearbook staff and feels that school pictures are a good way to make memories. “Looking back in yearbooks, I want to see myself change, especially because I am a totally different person than I was last year,” Arakelian said. “I think that the yearbook itself is a measure of growth, and using last year’s photos really don’t provide that.”
Even if picture day was not cancelled, some students felt it would not have been safe regardless of rising COVID numbers. “If picture day did occur, I would [have] absolutely not attended,” said junior Isabel Casem. “I found it a foolish move for the district to allow the school to make this move and risk students’ lives for a mere picture.” Casem attended the PSAT testing at Clark in October, and her past experience during PSAT testing contributed to her feelings that Clark did a lackluster job of following COVID-19 safety guidelines. “During PSAT I noticed how the classrooms had AC’s on but windows and doors were closed shut. Additionally, all the desks around me were not six feet apart… if anything it felt two feet apart,” Casem said.