Tiger Tea Week #7

The Mask Debate

Tiger Tea Week #7

On Sunday, February 5th, the Herrin School District announced that masks are recommended but not required due to the ruling from a Sangamon County judge who is challenging the indoor mask mandate in school buildings. In a recent survey of HHS students, questions were asked about the new recommendation, and opinions were intense.


First of all, about 80% of the students, who responded to the survey, say that they agree with the change. One student says that they think masks shouldn’t be required because they make it “harder to learn.” Another student believes that they should “be able to choose.” On the other side of the spectrum, students who are pro-mask have very strong feelings as well. For example, one student observes that they “feel very unsafe at school with people not wearing masks” and don’t think they “should be made to feel unsafe at school.” Another student attests to disagreeing with the new rules by stating they “have lost seven friends and family to covid. The new mask rules also put immunocompromised students and staff at a greater risk.” 


In response to being asked if kids were peer pressured into wearing or not wearing masks, about 61% of students reported that they did not feel pressured either way. With that being said, there were multiple free-response questions that said they were made fun of for wearing a mask, so they took theirs off. This isn’t the effect that masks were supposed to have, and they weren’t supposed to be a political issue either. 


In my opinion, the topic of masks is dividing the kids at Herrin High School more than anything else. For example, some responses to the google form included ones like “masks are stupid,” “if you do [wear one] you are weak,” and “people don’t wear masks because they have five brain cells.” This shows that the division is not only the school but also the nation runs deep.


I will continue to wear my mask to protect not just myself and my family, but those around me. I mask for my teachers, my friends, and their families.