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'It's still out there and it's still killing people:' Students weigh in on going back to school during a pandemic

Teachers have staged protests, politicians and school administrators have handed down mandates as school resumes. Now, hear the candid thoughts of students.

We've heard from politicians, school administrators, parents  and teachers about what should happen in the upcoming school year. 

On Good Morning Jacksonville, students who will have to carry out strict mandates handed down by administrators shared their candid thoughts about heading back into a classroom setting amid a global pandemic.

"There's a part of me that knows this is a real disease this is a real issue and I'm very concerned for the higher risk teachers and students or students with family members in their house that are higher risk," said Mya Haak, 17.

Cameron Young will not be returning to the classroom for his sophomore year at Mandarin High. He underwent open-heart surgery in December. Young believes Duval Homeroom is his safest bet as COVID-19 continues to spread.

"People still have to be aware of it,” Young said. “Because it's still out there and it's still killing people."

This home-based approach to education is new to almost everyone. Check out videos and photos below to see how Team Duval families and teachers are succeeding in this new way of education.

Walking into her senior year of high school, Haak says she’s looking forward to going back into her school building with safety measures in place.

"I am concerned because I know that anyone can get it and I can get it again so yes that's a concern for me as well," Haak said

She contracted the virus over the summer and believes she got it from her 14-year-old brother, who possibly caught COVID-19 at football practice.

 "I feel excited and a little concerned but mostly excited because I'll be able to see my friends, and to be in the classroom with my teacher and learn stuff that's the next grade up," said Allison Chinn, age 9.

Chinn is what some would call an old soul. Her mom says she's aware of what's going on across the state and around the world. She’s ready to take on the 5th grade but is saddened by recent news of Kimora Lynum, 9 of Putnam County dying from the virus.

RELATED: 'She just had that grace': Family mourns 9-year-old Putnam County girl who died of COVID-19, pushes back on schools reopening

"Someone that was around my age died from coronavirus,” Chinn said. “It means that it can make anybody sick. It doesn't matter how old you are. You can catch it and that's sad to hear a kid died from it."

Julia Ceron says she noticed some emotional changes in her son as he remained isolated from friends over the summer. She soon realized that being out of school and away from friends was weighing heavily on her 3rd grader.

"We decided after many sleepless nights, I thought about it I went back and forth, I think it's really in his best interest to go back into the school setting," Ceron said with her son Dominic Martin sitting by her side. He quickly replied, “I agree.”

"I like school unlike most kids,” Martin said. “I enjoy being there with the teachers."

Aubrie Killingsworth attended cheer, lifeguard and surf camp during the summer. She got a jump start on how to social distance while interacting with other kids.

"We're going to be sanitizing and washing our hands and wearing masks and maybe even those shield things over our faces,” Killingsworth said.

The Fletcher Middle School student got a crash course in online learning at the end of the last school year and says for her it's simply not a good fit.

"With online school, you don't learn as much as if you were in a classroom interacting with your teacher," Killingsworth said.

Online or in-person parents have a choice and these students believe they should have a say in the matter.