Student Opinions on Masks No Longer Being Required

Samantha Ramirez, Writer

Student Opinions on Masks No Longer Being Required

On March 3, 2022, Downey Unified put out a district update stating that they’d “​​be aligning with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s decision to transition to make indoor masking a strong recommendation (optional) not a requirement in school settings as of Saturday, March 12th”. Therefore, as of March 14, 2022, staff and students at all DUSD schools will no longer be required to mask indoors or outdoors. The topic of masking has brought mass controversy throughout the duration of the pandemic, but our Downey High community has done a good job at staying masked and keeping everyone safe. Now, here are some student opinions on the news.

Brenda Chihuahua, 11, stated, “I think it is a good step because it allows every student to decide for themselves what is best for themselves and their families.” However, Chihuahua, also believes that this new development has its pros and cons, she stated, “[by not wearing masks] I think will make students feel more liberated but I also think it might make other students feel as though their health and safety is at jeopardy.” She went on to say that overall, “It’s great that we’re trying to get back to normal and this has honestly allowed for my emotional state to take a more positive outlook.”

Andrew Escobedo, 11, has similar thoughts, he stated, “I think removing the mask requirement definitely has trade offs, I think the social aspect of being able to see everyone’s face is a great thing, but there’s also the risk of spreading the virus faster without them, only time will tell.” Escobedo also offered some comic relief, stating, “wearing masks hasn’t been too big of an annoyance other than making my glasses fog up every once in a while.”

On the other hand, Valerie Valdez, 11, stated  “Honestly, it’s kind of scary because we don’t know who’s around who and what they could be bringing back to school.” 

Maddox Reyes, 11, stated “ It’ll be really weird to have people not wearing masks, I’m kind of anxious and excited.” Reyes also remarked on the effects that not wearing masks would have amongst assignments, saying it’d be easier to give presentations without the mask acting as a barrier. 

Lastly, Andres Villasenor, 11, stated, “I think it’s fine, if you feel at risk, wear a mask, if not, don’t.” 

Regardless of what students decide to do upon the new guidelines, it is important that everyone’s decision is respected as the state of California and our Downey High community take steps toward a more “normal” state of life.