Hilton Head Island students inspire peers to wear masks with hopes of in-person school year

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C.—Two high school seniors are taking action to have in-person classes in the fall. WSAV.com NOW reporter Claire Going has a closer look at their campaign for students to wear a mask.

Brooke Simons and Sam Summa will be seniors at Hilton Head Island High School this year. But they fear their last year of high school won’t be spent in the classroom due to the steady increase in coronavirus cases in South Carolina.

They decided it’s up to them to hold their peers accountable to do their part to stop the spread.

“So wearing a mask, doing our part, staying socially distant, staying home when we can,” Simons said. “All of those things that everyone else in the community is preaching, I think it’s super important for us to promote it to our age group so they understand the risk and so they understand that something has to change among us so that we are able to return to school and sports in the fall.”

They are using their platforms on social media to get their message across to their fellow students—that being safe and responsible this summer is the key to returning to in-person classes and sports in the fall.

“Brooke and I saw a tweet from the University of Pittsburgh that said, ‘wear your mask so we can go back to this.’ And we kind of did our own version of that,” Summa said. “And it was, ‘wear your mask so we can go back to the nest.’ And the response was super positive. Everyone was reposting, sharing, all that stuff whether it was on Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram.”

They say other student-athletes are reposting the graphics they made, as well as their coaches, teachers, and principal are getting on board.

“It’s something we’ve worked our whole lives for. So to not be able to have a senior season, for people to not be able to get recruited to go play in college and not have what we’ve worked for is something that’s devastating,” Simons said.

“Online school is a lot different than in-person school,” she added. “So I think for us to be able to have that last year of high school is something that’s super important to us.”

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