A sudden mask mandate?

Here at Imagine Prep, COVID-19 has made numerous students miss school, causing them to quarantine. Day by day, students are getting a call to the office informing them that they will need to quarantine because they were in the same class or had close contact with a student who tested positive. Imagine Schools decided that masks would be required to be worn by students and staff daily. If one refuses to wear a mask, they can sign an OPT form which will allow them to deny the use of a mask. Many people at the school have different opinions about the masks and whether they should be required or not. Principal Chris McComb was interviewed about the topic at hand. 

“We were recommended by positions higher than me for students and staff to wear masks at school,” McComb said. “I feel like the masks will help keep students protected and help them stay in school.”  

COVID has affected so many lives, McComb is hoping that the mask mandate will slow things down.

“The virus has made everything crazy, which is impacting education for the students. Many of them are either testing positive for COVID or are getting quarantined,” McComb said. “If masks are the cost to keep students in school, then so be it.”

This could have been a tough call for McComb to make, knowing that some students, teachers, and parents may complain about this. But this could help so many students.

“I’m not sure how long the mask mandate will last, and I am hoping that by the end of fall break, things can start to settle down a bit, and masks won’t be required anymore,” McComb said.

With things the way they are right now, COVID cases have gone down because of the mask mandate; maybe they will keep it for a bit longer. 

“Things are just scattered everywhere right now, so it is hard to give an estimate, but hopefully soon, things will go somewhat back to normal, and students can graduate school with a good education during these uncertain times,” McComb said. 

Jaidyn Niccum, a junior at Imagine Prep, shared her perspective on the mask mandate and how she feels about it. 

“I honestly don’t mind the masks,” Niccum said. “If students feel that it will make them safer, then so be it; I will wear one.” While this is true, masks are preferred by many students with their opinion that it makes them safer.

“I hope that the whole mask situation will be done by the end of this year,” Niccum said. “It has been too long with this chaos, and I want things to go back to normal. Sometimes it can be hard because students forget a mask, which causes stress. It was so much easier when we didn’t have to worry about these kinds of things.” The office does provide extra white masks for this reason so that students won’t need to worry about forgetting one of their own.

“When I see students in the hall without a mask, it doesn’t bother me much because I think that is what they prefer, and they probably signed an opt form,” Niccum said. “But when I see students with their mask and not over their nose, I always laugh because there is no point in that. Might as well just take off the mask.” There’s always a little laugh here or there because of the creativity some students have of the different ways of wearing a mask.

“I don’t think that the masks are making a difference because it’s just fabric on your face,” Niccum said. “Sometimes it could be hard to breathe and stressful to forget. I’m not against masks, but I don’t think that they’re doing anything for the students and staff here at Imagine Prep.”

Sarah de Victoria is a Spanish teacher at Imagine Prep, she was asked for her opinion and view on the masks and how it impacts the students and staff here at the school. 

“I think the masks are a great idea to minimize the sicknesses that can run in the building,” Victoria said. “They are beneficial to decrease the spread of Covid and many other sicknesses that students may have.”

“With the covid numbers being so high in the school alone, I hope that we will continue to use the masks so that we can all stay in school and not have to go back to online learning,” Victoria said.

Victoria stated that sometimes she is annoyed when students don’t correctly wear their masks because it doesn’t help keep them safe. 

“I am glad that masks were mandated. Anytime masks have been mandated, there has been an obvious difference in the number of COVID cases. I know that it is making a difference in the number of students that need to be quarantined,” Victoria said. 

Everyone has their view on the mask mandate and whether or not it is beneficial. It can be challenging for the staff at Imagine Prep to make a tuff call to keep everyone safe. Although some people like the mask mandate and others don’t, COVID is a widespread problem, and the masks are helping to support students in school and outside activities.