Howell Public Schools Stance on Mask Mandate

PRO: Highlanders deserve safety 

The probability of a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is on the rise along with cases. With this increase, the question of whether or not masks should be necessary is raised yet again, especially in schools. Masks should be worn to reduce quarantines, protect those who are unable to be vaccinated, and keep school in session. Masks are a necessary precaution until the pandemic is a thing of the past, Highlanders deserve to be safe.

When masks are worn, the risk of contracting COVID-19 is lessened, and cases diminished. With less cases, quarantines would be reduced dramatically. With Michigan only at a 50.6% vaccination rate, almost half of the population is left vulnerable. Unvaccinated students are at greater risk of being quarantined, and infected. Reducing cases is a must, when students miss school grades start to slip. Even if students attend zoom classes, being removed from a learning environment gives way to increased distractions, and therefore worsened grades. It is critical to students’ academic function to stay in school, becoming quarantined only adds to this problem. 

The same holds true for athletes, taking two weeks off from training can seriously impact their performance. When a player catches COVID, multiple teammates could be quarantined, and in some cases even the whole team. Contact sports are especially vulnerable, such as football, basketball and soccer. The goal of the education community should be to help students succeed, for the foreseeable future, masks are an important tool in achieving this goal. 

CON: The Pro-Choice Discussion

Returning to Howell High School in 2021, Highlanders deserve to keep their decision to either  wear a mask or not. With vaccinations becoming accessible for families, a lot of students feel safer attending in-person classes. Entering the new school year, less students are taking online classes, and less students are being quarantined due to the COVID-19 vaccine. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that students generally feel safer at school, regarding COVID-19. 

On August 5th, 2021, ‘’ stated, “…CDC recommends indoor masking for all individuals aged 2 years and older, including students, teachers, staff, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.”

Howell High School has rejected this statement and enforced their own COVID-19 guidelines. The majority of the student body is visibly ‘maskless’ this school year, opposed to last year’s. Without a local mask mandate, the majority of students made their own decision to not wear a mask, respectfully. With this in mind, enforcing a mask mandate would most likely be a poor decision for the Highlander community. Howell High School’s rules are always subject to change in this 2021-2022 school year.