OPINION: Should schools go back to being maskless next semester?


Jared Sindt

“If there is not a surefire protection against the virus, new variants will continue to grow.” Photo courtesy of jooinn.com.

As schools begin another semester of school, districts and students are wondering: will they need to keep wearing masks?

With a new variant being discovered and recently spotted in our state, it’s fair to question how the school systems will react. As a student of UNO and a teacher at an elementary school, I have the unique perspective of seeing the pandemic from two angles.

As a student of UNO, like so many others, I am tired of masks. I am not saying that I necessarily want to allow maskless classrooms, but I truly cannot wait to be done with it.

As far as whether the university will allow students to be without masks, I highly doubt it. With so many variables and risks to the students and community, vaccinated or not, it’s understandable to not want to start another wave of COVID across the city.

The elementary schools and high schools, however, have been fighting the battle for a long time. With kids now able to be vaccinated, the school systems are allowing no masks and parents are expected to make the best decisions for their children.

Not all the elementary school systems are allowing this, but some have been considering it and playing their mask mandate monthly. So, it begs the question, should elementary schools be allowed to go without masks?

Obviously, for the sake of health, one should say no. Even if parents can choose to get their children vaccinated, it is not an absolute guarantee of safety, just extra protection.

However, the stress from those who want to go back to being without masks may be enough pressure to have the schools attempt it. At the beginning of the semester, masks were optional before it was quickly changed back — it would not be a surprise if we see an attempt made again.

If there is not a surefire protection against the virus, new variants will continue to grow. The best thing school systems can do right now is to keep things the way they are until they can assure the safety of all students and their community.