To Mask, or To Unmask?


Created on Canva by Bella Williams

Rebecca Maritano and Bella Williams

No one expected that two years later we would still be living through a pandemic. This challenging and unexpected period has changed everyone in many different ways. Some people have become more closed off while others thrived during the times of isolation. It looks different depending on who you talk to, but the one thing everyone can agree on is that covid has changed all of us. 

Covid has brought us many restrictions that have changed the way everyday life looks. Masks are something we’ve all had to wear over the course of this pandemic. For most people it has become a new normal especially when it comes to wearing it in schools. 

Life looks drastically different from what it did back in March of 2020. Now today, on March 14, 2022, Beaverton School District is lifting the mask mandate in schools. Staff and students weigh in on how they feel about this big change. 

Do you feel that masks should be optional in school? 

Student Perspective 

“I don’t want to keep wearing them but if others do, they can. I think it should be each person’s personal decision and no one should be forced to” said an anonymous junior. 

“As a person who doesn’t mind wearing a mask and will continue to wear a mask even when mandates are lifted, I think it should be up to each person to decide for themselves whether or not they’d like to wear a mask. By saying ‘No’ to being optional, it would be up to the district. If the district says they would not like students to wear masks, I don’t want to risk it; that’s why I think it should be up to the students/staff” said an anonymous junior.

“It feels weird because we’ve been wearing masks for so long. I think it’s brought up a lot of insecurities for people, including me. It has become an easy way to hide from everyone in a sense. When it comes to taking masks off I think since the district made the decision it’s up to everyone individually.” said an anonymous senior. 

“It is a personal choice. if there is a family that is immune compromised it would make sense for them to keep wearing a mask” said an anonymous freshman. 

Teacher Perspective

It’s very important after people decide whether to wear one or not, not to be mean to others that are wearing masks. The opposite too, not to be mean to others who aren’t wearing a mask. I think we all have had different impacts and have had different experiences from this and they’re not all the same. I think this is a big test of empathy for everybody.” said Mrs. Bustos 

“I personally feel that we’ve had two years to navigate through this and it’s unfortunate the amount of people that have died from it, that’s a horrible thing, my heart and empathy goes out to them. We do have the choice to choose if you want to get vaccinated or not. I think the science says that the vaccinations are helping as far as you hopefully you won’t get it as severely and have to be hospitalized. So I think now it’s up to people to choose, if you want to wear a mask. I hope people respect the personal choice and not judge and you don’t know the reason they’re wearing a mask.” said Mr. Munson 

“I’m gonna still wear my mask, I have too many people in my family who are immunocompromised. I, myself, am immunocompromised, so I can’t really risk that. Also I don’t know what students are going through, a student could live in a multigenerational home where a family member wants the vaccine but can’t get it. So it’s protecting me and any situations I don’t know about,” said a teacher who wished to remain anonymous. 

It’s evident through these responses, that the students and staff at Mountainside care very deeply about the safety and well-being of the people of our community, and no matter what anybody chooses on March 14th we as a community be kind, respect people’s decisions and do what is best for you.