Updated Student and Teacher Opinions on Masks in School

Updated Student and Teacher Opinions on Masks in School

By David Valdes, Staff Writer

Students at Wayne Hills have been wearing masks in school for over 2 months this school year.

On August 6th, Governor Phil Murphy signed an order that required students and staff at schools to wear masks. There will always be people who agree with this and people who don’t. As of right now, masks will be required but Gov. Murphy recently made a statement that this mandate will expire in January if parents choose to vaccinate their kids. It is likely that high schools will be the first to lift the mask mandate.

Now that we are almost finished with the first marking period, opinions on wearing masks in school could have changed compared to the beginning of the year. Students, as well as teachers, have become acclimated to wearing masks in their everyday life, so opinions could be varied.

Wayne Hills Algebra teacher, Mr. Grogaard said, “I think wearing masks in school is an appropriate idea right now. Due to issues about people not being vaccinated, our school needs to be on top of limiting possible chances of spreading Covid. But I find it has other benefits too other than reducing Covid transmission. Wearing masks also helps encourage people to realize they are a part of something bigger than themselves. That they are part of a community where everyone needs to do their part to keep each other safe. The use of technology has certainly had an impact on people feeling they are part of a larger community than their small group they see on a daily basis. I also think that wearing masks will help reduce other bacteria or viruses from transferring around large groups.”

Not only do teachers have to teach lessons, but they also have to make sure the students are wearing masks properly in class. When asked if controlling mask-wearing in class was difficult, Mr. Grogaard also added, “I do find it hard at times to have students keep their masks on. For most students, they understand that it’s a rule of our school to wear them in class, but a select few often give pushback from keeping them on. It can be frustrating at times when trying to explain why they need to keep their mask on and I only receive an argument back.”

Some students do agree with mask-wearing and think positively of it. For example, freshman Alise Pauksena said, “I think considering there are still people getting infected with covid, the masks are necessary so schools don’t shut down again.”

For now, the most students and staff in schools can do is wait and see what decisions are made.