Should We Unmask Our Students?

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill


Jacob Bryant

Masks, over the past year and a half, has been one of the most heated debates not only in our country but around the world. Now we are back in school and the main question has been should we be required to wear masks?

One of the most common misconceptions about the mask is that they will prevent you from getting the virus, that’s not one-hundred percent true. They won’t stop you from getting it, but it will lower your chances of contracting it.  Especially in our schools, from the first day of school all of California has been divided on this issue. Particularly in smaller school districts masks are a hot button topic. In the article “Small California school districts will refuse to follow mask mandate” by  Joe Hong you can see the differences in opinion among leadership within the district.

In the article Amy Alzina, the superintendent of Cold Springs Elementary, said, “Students, especially English, rely on non verbal communication. I spent the last year trying to smile at students with my eyes.”

Her argument is that it was very hard for teachers to really connect with students especially ones who do not speak English.

From the same article Tim Taylor, executive director of the Small Districts Association, stated, “These districts were in class all year and they just don’t believe masks are needed to teach children.”

So these smaller school districts are saying that they do not see the masks as being necessary in order to provide instruction to their students.

I believe the mask policy, yes, can be annoying at times, but if we want to see growth and change in our society it is a necessary thing we are going to have to do. I had the privilege of speaking with people at my school regarding the mask policy.

The first student I spoke with said this, “I think that its fine, I don’t have too much of a problem with the mask mandate.”

I also had the chance to speak with Francis Yu a Financial Algebra teacher at Roosevelt who had this to say when asked about the mask mandate, ” I make every student decide for themselves because they discuss that at home and their families know what’s at risk and they form their own opinion and I go with that.”

So it seems that teachers have put it in the hands of the students to uphold the mask policy. My personal opinion is that we need to cooperate with this rule while it is around, I get it the masks are uncomfortable and they can impede with learning, but this is the world that were living in right now we just need to learn how to deal with it and remember that this is only temporary.