Conflicting Viewpoints: Mask on, Mask off?


Landon Rowe

Students at CHS now have the option to wear masks or don’t. We still can’t seem to agree on what’s best.

Landon Rowe and Madison McNichols

MASK ON by Landon Rowe

As we all know, there is a nationwide pandemic going on right now, and one of the precautions people are taking to help keep from spreading the virus is wearing a face mask, or face covering. At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year in the Conway Public School District, school students, and staff were required to wear face coverings at all times while in the building, which has carried over into the 2021-2022 school year. Until now.

On October 12th, the CPSD school board met. During this meeting they made an update in the mask requirements in Conway Public Schools. They also completely eliminated the red, yellow, and green statuses for the school. They used to have a card on every door entering the main building stating what status the school is, but not anymore. Starting Monday, October 18th face masks for CPSD students, and staff will be optional. While this will make many people extremely happy and lift a barrier for many students such as those involved in choir, or band, I believe it is not the right time for this to happen. The covid cases in the District might be down as of right now, however making masks optional instead of required is more than likely going to make the numbers skyrocket again. They are not going to be able to do any “contact tracing” because most people won’t be wearing a mask, which will make it hard for them to tell where someone got covid from, or to tell who they might have infected.  Many students go home to elderly family members, or family members that do not have good enough immune systems to fight off the deadly virus, so if they come home with an extremely deadly virus, they wouldn’t know who they got it from, or who they could have possibly infected. What happens if half of the school gets infected with covid? Are they going to shut down the school and sanitize everything and start offering virtual learning again? Are they just going to let those people quarantine, and come back to school once they are better? All of these questions 1 student has, imagine all of the other questions the rest of the 2,000 students that attend the school. 

I feel like this decision made by the school board was not only a bad one, but also an extremely careless one. I don’t think the board members were thinking about all of the factors that played into such a decision, and how it would affect the different schools. I believe that the CPSD should stay in red status with masks required.

MASK OFF by Madison McNichols

For the students at the CHS, having their masks on for 8 hours during the school day was getting pretty exhausting. When the principal at the CHS said that masks were optional, the majority of the students were thrilled. The question remains, was it the right call to take away masks or no?

For me personally, I believe it was the right call to get rid of the mask mandate and give the students the option to wear them or not. I hated having to wear masks for 8 hours and not being able to ever take it down for long. It caused me to have an oily face and it caused acne where the mask was on my face. The masks covered up who everyone was and everyone got so used to knowing the masked self and not being able to know who you actually are without the mask covering half of your face.

Making it an option gives the students the opportunity to finally make a decision on whether or not they want a mask or not. For so long, we had to have the decision made for us to wear a mask at all times and now that the cases went down, the students and faculty finally get to decide what they want to do. 

I am honestly happy that the cases went down, so we get the opportunity to actually experience a “normal” year that we haven’t had in about 3 years! I believe that making the mask mandate an option was a very good decision and I couldn’t be more happy with the decision made.