To Mask or Not to Mask That is the Question


Should students be forced to wear mask in school

On January 15, 2022, Governor Glenn Youngkin was sworn in as the new Governor of Virginia. One of the new Governor’s first orders was to remove the mask mandate from schools. The people knew that this was going to happen. In fact, the Roanoke County school (RCPS) board was so sure that the Governor was going to remove the mask mandate that they removed it before he was in office.

The RCPS school board held a meeting in early January where they voted on if the mask mandate was to be removed or not. The school board proposed that masking should be a personal choice between the students and their parents. The school board voted in favor of this proposal, but the next day, after some apparent advice from a legal team, they announced that they were backing away from their vote and were waiting for the governor’s approval to make their next move.

As for the Roanoke County students, they have mixed opinions on masking. “My opinion on mask wearing is, I know it can be uncomfortable, but I would rather wear it and be safe, than not and be sick. The best way to return to ‘normal’ is for everyone to ensure that they are safe and healthy,” says sophomore Aanandi Parashar. She also states, “I do believe that masks work. You could be around someone with Covid, and if you are both wearing your masks correctly, there is a reduced chance of being infected.” She continues, “I would not be comfortable not wearing a mask. If the mask mandate in schools were to be removed, I would try my best to continue to diligently wear my mask. I do not trust people enough to not do things when they have Covid. However, it is not up to me, I cannot control what they do.”

On the other side of the argument, Sophomore Worth Paisley says, “I think masks keep people safe somewhat, and you should be able to wear one if you want, but if you do not want to wear a mask in a place that is not a medical setting, you should have that option. I have seen various data points that say that certain masks only work ten percent of the time or less. I personally don’t think it is the government’s job to mandate wearing a mask.”

Both arguments are fair claims. The outcome of this saga us still being decided. The governor’s own mandate is under fire by people everywhere. So, whether we will continue to mask is still up for debate.