How do students feel about being Mask Optional

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RHS Students eat lunch and socialize outside some with masks and some without. (Credit: Toby Fagan)

Toby Fagan, Staff Writer

Roswell has been mask-optional for a while now and there have been mixed reactions and skepticism about the decision, especially among the student body of our school.

Masks have been a hotly contested issue throughout the country for the past two years as we have dealt with this pandemic. Some schools and counties have never had to wear masks, while some continue to have mandatory mask mandates.  

Politics have fallen into the ideas students have about masks based on what their parents think or how they think independently. However, each student is entitled to their own opinion.

Some think that we shouldn’t be mask optional, others think we should have been from the start of the school year. Most students are glad that we are now given the freedom to make our own decisions based on what we are comfortable with.

Senior Holden McGriggs  expresses this sentiment saying, “It’s good that the students are given a choice” but senior Ethan Rydell says that “I don’t think it’s the safest and I choose to keep my mask on, but if other people decide not to wear a mask, I won’t stop them.”

Students don’t wish to enforce their beliefs on others, they just wish to be given a choice rather than have their decisions made for them. Some students fall on the opposite end of the spectrum with senior Eric Neumann saying, “It’s a terrible idea without extra protections like staggered dismissal in place.”

Sensibly, the hallways are very crowded in a school with around 2300 people and many without masks on makes it easy for new variants and other non-COVID-19 illnesses to spread.

Senior Michael Bowie shares this idea, saying it’s surprising we still are [mask optional], especially with recent outbreaks in and around our community. Yet even with these possible setbacks, the county administration feels it is still safe for students to decide if they wear a mask or not and continue to keep the school mask-optional.

Some students have expressed different feelings about the policy with junior Max Gonzalez wanting “Some people to put their masks back on because they look like orcs.”

Whether or not this is true, the school continues to allow students to make their own choices and almost every student is happy about it.