Mask On or Mask Off?


Kayla Moore

Irelsa Arauz, 11th grade, is keeping her mask on.

After entering the school year wearing masks, New York City students now have the choice to take them off. Mayor Eric Adams lifted the mask mandate for public high schools on Monday, March 7.

Some students and staff have been eager to take their masks off, while others not so much. Everyone is so used to their masks.

Ramata Diop, tenth grade, said, “I didn’t really care for the mandate being lifted. I wasn’t having any thoughts about it, but then people kept coming up to me asking, ‘Are you gonna take your mask off?’ I just didn’t think it was that big of a deal. I knew automatically that most people wouldn’t have their mask on. I’m so used to wearing a mask I almost feel an attachment to it, like I can’t just stop. But I do believe I will ease into taking it off, but for right now I will be keeping it on.”

Principal Glatz said, “We will continue taking Covid tests in the school building and doing temperature checks with the help of health screenings. I believe students will do what’s best for themselves with this mask mandate being lifted. Of course we are still offering masks in the school for students who still want to wear them.”

“I’m very relieved the mask mandate has been lifted for many reasons,” Assistant Principal Sowiski said, “but I love that it’s still a personal choice. It also means we don’t have to spend so much time as a school managing students about the mask because that sets a very challenging tone. Personally I’ve been affected by Covid. I’ve had family affected by Covid so I know at some point I will have to go back to wearing masks.

Environmental science and chemistry teacher Mr. Cyphert said, “I have mixed feelings, because I was a proponent of the mask mandate to begin with. My general opinion is if students and staff are vaccinated then we probably don’t need masks if there’s not a big outbreak. However, there are a number of students that aren’t vaccinated so I believe a vaccine mandate rather than a mask mandate would be more effective. Right now we have neither. I will be wearing my mask, but we’ll see how it goes as the year progresses.”

Most students and staff all seem to be interested in keeping their masks on for the remainder of the school year.

Wearing masks has changed all of our lives, some for the better and some for the worst. Some of us don’t even know what our peers and teachers look like behind their masks. Some of us might not ever know if everyone doesn’t make the choice to take their masks off. And that’s okay too.