STAFF EDITORIAL: Wearing masks properly should no longer be a battle


Three students demonstrate how to properly wear masks. If masks are too big, they can be adjusted by twisting them once before wrapping them around the ears. Pinching the nose on school-issued masks also helps. And tucking the mask below glasses, helps keep glasses from fogging over.

The rules and regulations regarding COVID-19 are still to wear a mask and social distance. The daily announcements mention keeping your mask over your mouth and nose. One-way hallways have been implemented to help with traffic flow and distancing between classes.

However even with the reminders and rules, the number of students and adults not wearing their masks correctly is incredibly concerning. More needs to be done to hold students and teachers accountable when the rules are not followed.

Our school is not immune to this rise, but we can be part of the solution instead of more of the problem. Especially with the large number of families who traveled over Thanksgiving break and who anticipate traveling over winter break, it’s important that students and faculty do everything in their power to keep themselves and their families safe.

There are plenty of reasons to enforce the rules. Cases in Harris County are rising, and according to the Humble ISD COVID-19 dashboard in early December nearly 3.5% of in-person students and staff members have had the virus. The White House Coronavirus Task Force released statements on Dec. 1 specifically calling on Texas to increase its statewide mandates because of the sharp increase happening in counties across the state.

This is an issue regarding public safety. If a student isn’t wearing a mask, don’t hold a conversation with them until they put it on correctly. If a student says their mask is too big or uncomfortable, direct them to their house office where new masks are kept or show them a way to tighten it. There is no excuse to not have a mask that fits when masks are  provided on campus. In the same regard, if a teacher is not wearing a mask correctly, students should feel comfortable going to an administrator to discuss it, if mentioning it to the teacher seems too stressful.

For the most part, it all starts with the adults. When students see authority figures not wearing their masks properly it makes it a lot easier for the students to justify not wearing their masks properly. The same is also true when teachers wear their masks properly but do not enforce proper mask wearing in their classrooms. When students realize a teacher is not going to mandate a nose being covered or even a face covering being worn at all, certain students will push the limit as far as they can. This not only makes other students in the room uncomfortable, it makes the room unsafe.

Adults discipline students for not wearing an ID badge daily and for dress code violations. Properly wearing masks should be just as high of a priority.

As the country tries to stop the increase of COVID cases, everyone at school can be part of the solution and less a part of the problem. Follow CDC guidelines and quarantine if you are a close contact. Stay home if you are not feeling well. And if you come to school, wear a mask properly.