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'We need to be in school' Surry County teen writes letter to state leaders

Sam Whitt hasn't heard anything back yet from Governor Cooper and Superintendent Mark Johnson but his letter is getting attention on Twitter.
Credit: Sam Whitt

A Surry County teen asked the governor and state school superintendent for in-person learning and high school sports in the fall.

Sam Whitt is an upcoming junior at East Surry High School and an offensive lineman on their state championship-winning football team.

Whitt said the idea came to him after dinner with his family Wednesday and the words flowed out of him as he typed on his laptop.

"It was really kind of a decompression for me because it allowed me to put all of my thoughts and my worries and everything into this letter," said Whitt.

He showed the letter to his parents when he finished.

"He brought his laptop into the living room and started reading to his mother and I what he had written and we were just blown away," said his father Steven Whitt.

Below is the letter Sam Whitt posted to Twitter after his parents proofread it.

Credit: Sam Whitt
Credit: Sam Whitt

The letter calls for in-person classes and high school sports.

Whitt's dad said he had a feeling the letter would get attention when it was posted on Twitter. Sam was surprised by the hundreds of retweets it got within a few days.

"My thoughts on the letter was, wow. This is extremely well written. This is someone who knows how to tactfully and professionally express their opinion," said East Surry High School Head Football Coach Trent Lowman.

Sam Whitt has ambitions to become a politician but he and his father said the letter is not politically motivated.

"[It's an] honest heartfelt letter from a high school athlete," said Steven Whitt, "These kids have had their entire sense of normalcy ripped out from underneath them."

The Whitt family isn't sure they will get a response from the state but Sam believes the unexpected social media response may help.

"I hope with as much support as it's garnered, that it will have a higher chance of getting to their desks," said Whitt.

The state has not announced specific plans for how next school year will look. 

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction is considering three reopening plans with NCDHHS guidance.

●  Plan A: Minimal Social Distancing

●  Plan B: Moderate Social Distancing

●  Plan C: Remote Learning Only

East Surry High School's football team along with others around the state are hoping to begin in-person practice on July 6th with social distancing guidelines.

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