Staff editorial: Teachers, students should wear masks — still


Photo by Ian Wright

Students walking back to classroom during passing period for B lunch.

After beginning the school year with an optional mask policy, Dr. Kevin Rogers and LISD announced on Aug. 25 masks would be requested to be worn for all students and staff. This message came just weeks after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced teachers and students should wear masks at school, regardless of vaccination status. 

Given that the safety of all students and staff is the top priority of the district, Rogers made the correct decision to issue the announcement — and students and staff should heed the request and mask-up.

Even though wearing masks may be uncomfortable for some, they’re still important for maintaining safe school conditions. People should never feel as though they’re in an unsafe environment, but according to a poll of 100 students conducted by “The Hawk Eye” during lunch, 66% said crowded hallways and maskless people have contributed to making them uncomfortable. 

The U.S. is still in the midst of a pandemic, and according to the CDC, the delta variant is twice as infective as previous variants.  As Hebron enters its eighth week of school, activities such as cross country meets, football games and club meetings have begun. In the next few months, track and basketball seasons will start, homecoming will take place and students will take the SAT and ACT. If students and staff do not take precautions now, it is possible school events will be canceled and people will miss out. School and extracurriculars alone can be stressful, and the last thing people should worry about is contracting COVID-19.

Furthermore, according to Yale Medicine, the average person with the delta variant in an unmitigated environment (where people are not vaccinated nor wearing masks) will infect between 3.5 to 4 people. Accounting for Texas’ complete vaccination rate of 51% and lower vaccination rates among youth, it could be assumed a significant segment of the student body is unvaccinated. This is a problem because, according to the CDC, unvaccinated people are not only more infective but also transmit the virus for longer periods of time. The easiest way to combat this, however, is simple — wear a mask.

Although Governor Greg Abbot issued an Executive Order banning districts from mandating facial coverings, for the sake of preventing Hebron from returning to virtual and events from getting canceled, people should be willing to mask up. People do have the right to choose not to wear a mask, but wearing one will contribute to alleviating people’s concern. 

LISD’s request for all students and staff to wear a mask attempts to prioritize the safety of everyone on campus and make school a safer environment. With this, students and staff should follow the district’s request and wear a mask for the common good.