Editorial – Mask usage: a double standard

On January 11th, 2021 students returned back to face to face for the first time since March of 2020. Students in the building are expected to wear masks correctly at all times, except for lunch, meanwhile some faculty members are not following mask usage guidelines, potentially signaling to students that mask wearing doesn’t need to be taken seriously. At a staff training in November, the teachers and staff were told they were allowed to remove their mask if the students in the room were further than a six feet distance, but that guideline has since been reversed and faculty are expected to wear masks at all times when students are in the room. Some teachers and other faculty have been wearing their mask incorrectly, such as below their nose or below their chins making students feel uncomfortable.

If students were to wear their mask incorrectly, their punishments would be more harsh, possibly getting sent home or even having to stay remote for the rest of the quarter, depending on how many times they were reminded to wear their mask correctly. Students are required to wear their mask at all times with the exception of lunch time when they eat food as long as they remain six feet from each other.. Mask usage for students is strongly enforced, but when teachers of Faculty members struggle nothing is done.

A combination of effective strategies, including consistent and correct use of masks; physical distancing; handwashing, constant cleaning and sanitizing can limit exposure in the school setting. The virus is typically transmitted through person to person contact via respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing or even talking. Being around large groups of people increases the chances of spreading the virus. This is why it’s recommended that people should avoid social gatherings. This is why it’s recommended to wear a mask, especially in a classroom with students regardless of their distance from each other. Some teachers have gotten at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine but it doesn’t justify them wearing their mask incorrectly.

Although mask usage has become somewhat controversial; with some people being aggressively opposed to wearing a mask some students, like AJ McCullough, believe that even if it helps make people a little bit safer it’s worth the hassle.

“I think it should be required simply because of the fact it helps insure the safety of others especially if everyone is starting to come back to school” says West High senior AJ McCullough.

Teachers and other faculty are expected to keep students safe in the event of a physical attack on the school, a fire, a tornado or an earthquake. It’s unacceptable and unfair that the faculty themselves are making students feel less than safe.

“When Teachers wear masks incorrectly, under their lip but below their chin, it makes me feel unsafe, they should have the same responsibility as students.” says Junior Arturo Rojas 

Masks should be required at all times for everyone’s safety. People are against wearing a mask, but have to understand that a mask doesn’t only protect you, but it protects people around you. A lot of people are tired of COVID restrictions and really want us to go back to normal but if we soften now and allow for another big spike in cases people will die. Everyone should be wearing masks correctly and calling out people who aren’t. 


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