The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

A Masked Education: ACHS Opinions

A+Masked+Education%3A+ACHS+Opinions

Surveying Student and Teacher Opinions on Masks

Audrey Jarrett

Staff Writer

What symbolizes our daily worries about COVID-19 more than anything else? Could it be the constant reminder of throwing on a mask? What’s your take on wearing masks on buses, in class, and around campus? So I decided to ask the student and teacher population of ACHS similar questions.

Here’s what we know about COVID-19 and how school policies address issues that constantly come up. Topics such as new variants, virus spreading, and community mitigation.

Community mitigation aims to reduce the rate of infection by which someone infected may come into contact with someone who is not infected, and therefore decrease the probability of infection if there is contact. Some examples of this are getting the vaccine, wearing facial coverings, going outdoors as the virus can disperse quicker, and social distancing.

A survey that consists of 40 students and teachers at ACHS were asked their opinion about wearing masks in school. The survey asked questions regarding their current emotions, concerns, and how they take the rules of wearing masks into account in both school and their daily lives. 

It is hard to remain socially distanced in a school environment.  ACHS has around 4,000 people, students and teachers were asked if they were still trying to be socially distant when not wearing their masks. An anonymous student said, “It’s very hard to follow the social distancing rules during lunch because if we sit far apart not many people will be able to eat in the lunchroom.”

Forms response chart. Question title: Do you still try to follow social distancing rules when not wearing your masks?. Number of responses: 40 responses.

Another issue that students and teachers face in the school is how others wear their masks, especially when it comes to protecting everyone and keeping them safe. There are both teachers and students who wear their masks incorrectly.

An anonymous student said, “I think it’s fine if you’re eating or not within 6 feet of people and if you’re outdoors, but you shouldn’t remove your mask unless it’s necessary, not because you think it’s nice to take a break.” 

Another student’s opinion was, “I just don’t want to get sick because of others’ opposition to mask wearing.”

Forms response chart. Question title: How does it make you feel when other kids don't follow the rules about wearing a mask? For example: under their nose.. Number of responses: 40 responses.

The numbers at the bottom (1-10) are how much people are bothered when others don’t follow rules about wearing facial coverings properly. 

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, they say that “Emotions play a large role in our social interactions.” Even so, when we have masks covering half of our face, which contain the features that reduce communication, and show expressions of people we interact with, the positive emotions can be less recognizable, and negative emotions can look amplified.

Here are the results about how people miss being smiled at and any other facial expressions they miss out on:Forms response chart. Question title: Do you miss people smiling at you?. Number of responses: 40 responses.

Forms response chart. Question title: What other facial expressions do you miss? Multiple answers is recommended. Number of responses: 40 responses.

With masks becoming optional to students starting March 1, most students are worried about being exposed or catching the virus. 

In just the state next door, Maryland’s Anne Arundel County Public Schools, lifted their mask mandate on February 18th. “I’m concerned that a very large amount of people will stop wearing masks once it’s optional and there will be a covid outbreak at school,” said a Sophomore at ACHS.

Forms response chart. Question title: Do you think wearing masks is the only option to ending the pandemic? If not, what is?. Number of responses: 40 responses.

Clearly a very divided subject, but still 32% of people think that masks are the only solution to resolving the global problem.

Many people benefit from seeing faces in-person, hearing others, and socializing. One way people have been able to see others’ faces while staying safe is going outside and/or social distancing when they have masks off.

Maddy Arnold, a tenth grader said, “during lunch I don’t social distance because I know all the people I sit with have been vaccinated.”

Forms response chart. Question title: Do you prefer to go outside for lunch, get fresh air, and remove masks or eating inside in the building?. Number of responses: 40 responses.

With COVID-19 continuing to be  a controversial topic at school, it is proven to be a broad spectrum when looking at the student and teacher viewpoints.

“Masks are instrumental to controlling a pandemic, but in order to end it we need herd immunity by getting as many people vaccinated as possible,” Sophomore, KD Bectel comments. They said, “Truthfully, I don’t think masks will ever stop being needed to be worn, even in a post-pandemic world.

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A Masked Education: ACHS Opinions