What will happen to masks? 

Nicole Powichroski, Staff Writer

The ‘anti-mask’ protest outside of Roswell High (Credit: Nicole Powichroski)

Since the beginning of the fall 2020 school year, masks have been a requirement at Roswell High School. Vaccinated or not, teachers and students are required to wear masks around the entire building for their own protection and the protection of others. Many of the students and teachers are vaccinated even though for vaccinated individuals, masks are a requirement. At other schools in the state of Georgia masks are optional or not required which leaves the decision to wear masks in the hands of the student or teacher.  It imposes a difficult decision for everyone in the school to decide. If masks became optional, would they choose to remain masked or breathe freely?  

Addy West, a junior at Roswell, gave her opinion on whether or not she would keep her mask given the option, “I’m not really sure. I don’t want to sound weird, but I would probably see what the other people around me were doing. Which kind of sucks to say, but I don’t know really because we haven’t had the option put in front of us. I am vaccinated so I would lean towards not wearing it because I already have the upmost protection with it and the masks are the most protective for people who are unvaccinated. I think I would be more likely to not have it but if I was only people not wearing one, I would wear one again.”  

Mia Nardiello is also a junior at Roswell and gave their opinion on the topic saying “I think I will keep my mask on. The school itself is not the most sanitary and regardless of COVID-19, I think it’s safest to keep it on. It also reduces our chances of getting colds and the flu, which means less time of being out of school for being sick. The air quality out and inside the school is already not ideal so masks protect you for all of it- not just COVID-19. Maybe not forever but continuing to wear a mask for a while probably is the safest option.” 

An uprise of parents and students have been on a movement for promoting anti-mask ideology at Roswell High School. On Sept. 13, 2021, a traveling Facebook group of parents arrived at Roswell to protest the mask requirements from the school. The group stood outside the school chanting for the lift on the mask requirements because the parents claim, “it is our kids and we get to choose,” even though they are not in charge. Masks requirements are decided by the county.  

Fulton County Schools oversees decisions for each high, middle, and elementary school in what students do with masks. Whether or not by May they decide to lift the requirement to an optional request will be determined by local county COVID-19 numbers and how COVID-19 numbers look following the few weeks after the hypothetical requirement lift. Even if they are lifted, students still have their free will to choose to keep them on if they feel it will keep them safer and more protected.  

Interested in hearing more about the mask debate? Check out Sterling’s article on why masks shouldn’t be required in schools.