To Mask or Not to Mask-That is the Question

The Debate About Masking


Zachary Neilson


Seeing that COVID-19 is still in play, we as students still need to take precautions in preventing the virus from affecting people. So the students as well as the teachers’ opinions matter regarding the state mask mandate. Our state Governor Doug Ducey has convinced schools to not wear masks despite COVID-19 still being present. It’s rather ironic considering that we’re trying to prevent the spread of the virus not increase it. However, this may turn out to change as there has been a dramatic increase in cases as of recently. 

Due to the Governor’s opposition to the mask mandate, students have the option of wearing or not wearing a mask. This of course may affect certain students who are somewhat lenient when it comes to wearing a mask. Compared to those who don’t, just under half of the students wear masks. However, with COVID cases on the rise again, as well as the new variant, students will likely resume wearing masks as before.

Freshmen Alexavier Martinez said that he believes that more students should be wearing masks in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “I feel like Greenway should continue to require masks because of COVID-19 getting worse again,” Freshmen Alexavier Martinez said.

Because COVID-19 is still circulating, the school must exercise caution when there are students who have made the choice to not wear a mask. The most crucial thing students can do to help prevent the spread of COVID is to wear masks at all times indoors or at the very least the majority of the time. This may irritate some students who are not fond of wearing a mask but it guarantees the safety of students and teachers.

Separating desks in classrooms so that students are more spaced throughout the classroom is one thing teachers have been doing to help prevent the spread of the virus. Teachers have also expressed their opinions about the mask mandate and what they believe is best for their students.

Drafting teacher, Mr. Schall, said that masks certainly help prevent the spread of COVID and that he leaves it up to his students to decide if they want to wear a mask. Science teacher Mr. McKee said that the biggest impact wearing masks has on teachers is the ability to communicate and that non-verbal communication through facial masks is critical when interacting with students.

All of this is to ensure the fairness and protection of students and staff from getting affected by the virus. Our governor, on the other hand, has made it to where public schools are prohibited from requiring masks. As a result, he’s set up a $163 million school funding program that will only go to schools that have met the state’s requirements. With this still in place, especially with COVID and this new variant still circulating, students are at risk of contracting the virus.

As a matter of fact, according to an AP News article, the Arizona governor blocks cash from school that mandate masks. Gov. Ducey ups the pressure on the growing number of schools that oppose the state ban on masks. According to another AP News article, Arizona doctors urge the governor to require masks in schools. On August 5th, over 150 doctors have urged AZ Gov. Doug Ducey to mandate masks in schools. This highlights the irony of the situation, as kids are more susceptible without the mask and are more likely to contract the virus.