Cancel Finals: Finals Would Cause Unneeded Stress to an Already Stressful Year [Editorial]


Credit to Taylor Hill

By Sydney Ellison, Newspaper Editor-in-Chief

Cancel culture. The world wide trend that has targeted many companies, celebrities, politicians and even cartoon characters. Most of the cancel hashtags have taken place on social media giant, Twitter. Hashtag cancel Ellen DeGeneres, hashtag cancel J.K. Rowling, to name a few of the twitter trends you might have seen on your twitter feed. An endless cycle that makes the average person feel powerful and the person being canceled scrambling to defend themselves.

Francis Howell students would like to cancel something of their own this spring. Finals. The school district has already added their contribution by canceling many things including homecoming, pep assemblies and prom, so why not add finals to the list. It seems only fair that students get a say in what happens to the rest of the year after so much has happened.

Finals cause stress, anxiety, sleepless nights. Students already have way more of that than can possibly be healthy. Students have already had to deal with the mental stress of a pandemic along with the other memorable events of 2020. Allowing finals is an unnecessary addition to a year that has brought about way too much pain, sadness and frustration. Why give students just another thing to worry about? Give the student body something to look forward to as we come to the end of this crazy year and cancel finals.

While we don’t have screenshots, tweets and blurry photos to defend our cancellation we do have the majority, if not all, of the students on the side of #FHcancelfinals. After taking the six snow days that we had in February into account, the district has made the decision to have the seniors’ last day of school be May 28, while the rest of the grade levels will go through June 8. This will create issues for teachers who will now have to move the finals for the seniors to a completely different date than the rest of their students. There would be an unequal level of preparation between seniors and underclassmen. Will teachers also have to create two different tests to make sure that nothing is “leaked” to the other students who will test after the seniors? Underclassmen would have a longer chance to study and prepare for the test.

Another reason we should be canceling finals is the discrepancy between the testing environments for online and in-person students. Online students will not have a teacher walking around the room, looking over their shoulders. They could easily create a cheat sheet and have it laying right in front of them as they take the test. They could have easy access to their cell phones or other devices and are only a google search away from finding the answers needed to get a good grade on the tests. On the other hand, in-person students are told to lock their phones away in their book bags, or else. How can a teacher possibly make sure that online students won’t have advantages that the in-person students won’t have access to? 

The district canceled finals first semester. Not much has changed this semester. Don’t let the year end in stress, canceling finals makes sense for the 20-21 school year. Let students focus on staying healthy and ending the school year strong. COVID-19 is still spreading, students are still getting quarantined and stress is still rising so let’s get this hashtag trending #FHcancelfinals.