Masks or No Masks?


Mr. Wilson’s class following the mask requirement.

By Keedy Tique, Staff Writer

   As the school season approached in August, parents, students, and teachers began to worry about the mask mandate. Governor Ron DeSantis proposed to take off the masks this school year.  

   Many parents argued about which approach was the best. They worried the governor’s mandate would be put in effect causing COVID-19 to spread onto their loved ones. Some chose the alternative of staying home and participated in a home school program. Others agreed with the Ron DeSantis mandate. 

   Starting the 2021-2022 school year, Miami Dade County Public Schools removed the choice between My School Online (MSO) or Physical (PHY). All the students are attending physical school unless sick or quarantined. Students are not allowed to enter the school if they are not wearing a surgical mask. A few students have protested at Miami High about wearing masks. 

   An anonymous female senior said, “If the mask mandate was made optional, I would not wear it. To me, it is a waste of money and unnecessary.” She thinks it is also good that you can take off your mask at times during school even though the mandate is enforced as of now.  

   On the other hand, senior Kevin Calderin said, “I wouldn’t unmask if the mask mandate was optional because I’m not vaccinated and I’m not sure I want the vaccine.” He also said that it’s still not safe enough outside and that a lot of people are still getting sick despite being vaccinated. “COVID-19 is developing everyday even more,” he said. 

   Senior Melanie Rodriguez agrees. “It is not safe to take off our masks yet. Although, I’m vaccinated, I don’t think it’s safe enough for us to go back to normal,” she said.  

   An anonymous school counselor agrees with the required mask mandate because it keeps everyone safe. If it was made optional, she thinks that nobody would wear masks. In the meantime, she will continue wearing her mask regularly. 

   In addition, yearbook teacher Ms. Diaz said that it’s a good idea for students to wear masks because it does not harm anyone, but students with special circumstances can be excused. If masks were made optional, it would be a lot of work to figure out who isn’t and who is permitted to wear a mask. Personally, she likes wearing masks and will continue to use them. 

   In an article published on the website for WLRN titled “Florida Judge Throws Out Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Order Prohibiting School Mask Mandates,” it mentions, “A Florida judge has ruled that school districts in the state can require students to wear masks. At least 10 school districts — including some in many of the largest cities — had been defying state rules set by Gov. Ron DeSantis banning mask mandates.”  

   Many parents and students agreed with this decision.  

   Senior Tatiana Jimenez stated, “I do not agree with the Ron DeSantis mask mandate. It shouldn’t be up to the parents. I wouldn’t unmask because people sneeze everywhere and are unsanitary. There are different variants of COVID-19. Every day there is a new and stronger one. Vaccinated people are also getting infected which makes me scared.”  

  Senior Sophy Pardo says she does not feel safe, at least not in Miami.   Kristine Upegui added, “I would not unmask because I’m afraid of contracting the virus.” 

   Although students at Miami Senior High have been following the mask requirement, some have tested positive, causing students around them in the classroom to get quarantined. According to assistant principal Ms. Barreto, if the quarantined student has been vaccinated and doesn’t show any symptoms, they can come back to school.