Bring back the mask

District-wide facial covering mandates need to be re-installed

Many+students+are+continuing+to+wear+masks+on+campus%2C+despite+the+district+lifting+the+mandate.

Rebekah Mann

Many students are continuing to wear masks on campus, despite the district lifting the mandate.

Rebekah Mann, Managing Editor

The decision made Tuesday evening is appalling. 

The Comal Independent School District Board of Trustees announced their decision to not require masks in response to Governor Greg Abbott lifting the state-wide mask mandate and the Texas Education Association giving local school districts a choice in mask requirements. District-wide mask mandates were lifted March 10.

This last-minute decision shows the negligence and lack of regard for the safety of students and staff by the decision-makers in this ill-timed choice. The pandemic isn’t over just because people want it to be; the district mask mandate needs to be reinstalled immediately. ”

— Managing Editor Rebekah Mann

This last-minute decision shows the negligence and lack of regard for the safety of students and staff by the decision-makers in this ill-timed choice. The pandemic isn’t over just because people want it to be; the district mask mandate needs to be reinstalled immediately. 

The Board of Trustees caved in to the demands of the anti-masking voices that rejoiced in Abbott’s decision. Despite almost all health officials advising against lifting the state-wide mask mandate, the district has still chosen to appease those that deny the science. 

Yes, COVID-19 cases are lowering in Texas, and yes, hospitalization and death rates related to COVID-19 are not nearly as high as they were a few months ago, but that does not change the fact that there is still a global pandemic happening. To add to this, less than 8% of Texans are fully vaccinated, Texas teachers only began to qualify for the vaccine last week, and herd immunity is no where close to happening soon. The Board of Trustees must surely be educated enough to understand that masks work and that this is an airborne virus. Masks keep people safe, and it is disgusting that any district-official could even consider lifting a mask requirement. 

Comal ISD Teachers did not have a choice in returning to in-person school. There are plenty of teachers that are immunocompromised or elderly. Most teachers in the district that have at least their first COVID-19 vaccine shot only received it Tuesday. The majority of students are not eligible for a vaccine until Phase 2 of the vaccine rolls out. There is little to no immunity on campuses, yet it has been deemed an appropriate decision to lift the district mask mandate. With spring break only days away, it is ridiculous to not require masks at schools. Students will more than likely travel with their families over the break, bringing back COVID-19 to a school where wearing a mask is not even expected of students. 

A pocketful of teachers and students have already made the decision to continue the week remotely because of this decision. There was no consideration for others from the Board when ruling against masks on Tuesday. Teachers and students have elderly, immunocompromised, and high-risk family members, making returning to a maskless school impossible. The jobs of teachers and the education of students should not be jeopardized because of a selfish decision. Not a single other person was thought about in this vote. Wearing a mask is not about personal freedom or making the decision for one’s self; it is about keeping other people safe.  

The jobs of teachers and the education of students should not be jeopardized because of a selfish decision. Not a single other person was thought about in this vote. Wearing a mask is not about personal freedom or making the decision for one’s self; it is about keeping other people safe.”

— Managing Editor Rebekah Mann

Although it could be argued that students and teachers should have a choice in wearing a mask at school, 525,000 Americans did not have a choice in dying from COVID-19. Not requiring masks on campus is a thoughtless and self-serving choice.

Comal ISD is the only district in the San Antonio and New Braunfels area that has lifted their mask mandate, so clearly other school districts adhere to the science behind facial coverings. Mask requirements on campuses need to be brought back at once.