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Letter to the Editor: Flip-flopping mask requirements upsets parents and confuses students

Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed in a letter to the editor are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of The Madison Record.

To the Editor:

The choice of wearing a mask has spun into a flurry of discussions and debates in many public settings. The debates are even spilling into the Madison City School District, which started the school year with a mask mandate only to turn to “masks optional” a few weeks later. This “mask optional” scenario lasted for less than two days, which in itself created a mountain out of a molehill. In my opinion, masks should remain mandatory until COVID had “normalized” with cases not fluctuating, or until it is gone completely.

During the brief “mask optional” directive, I noticed a large fuss over the fact that teachers were “moving students who don’t want to wear a mask, separating them from those who do.” While this was just a precautionary measure, in case the teachers or students felt uncomfortable, I saw some teachers take this initiative to the extreme. As a student at Bob Jones High School, I personally saw a teacher separate two unmasked students from the rest of our class by an entire row of desks, cramming the rest of us into the front three rows. The issue with this situation is that, by placing every other student in the front, clustered together, this teacher potentially created a larger danger of COVID circulating within the group that was not being socially distanced than if she had not separated those two students out in the first place.

Flip-flopping between the mask mandate and the “mask optional” decision and then back again makes parents upset and students rather confused. The superintendent making a verdict like that without board support does not help our students remain safe from this virus nor does it help decrease the number of infections in our area.

Since wearing masks has become rather commonplace now, this change messes with the “normal” that we have been living with during this pandemic. Without that constant, people become overconfident and endanger more than just themselves. Although it may not be a popular stance, I believe our Madison City Schools should maintain a mask mandate until this pandemic can be controlled.

Sincerely,

Zachary Persons

Bob Jones High School

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