TCAPS Mask Mandate Lifted
January 7, 2022
On January 3, 2022 the mask mandate in TCAPS schools was lifted as a result of the TCAPS board meeting that occurred on November 8, 2021 where board members voted and decided that the mask mandate would expire starting on January 3, 2022 – making masks optional at TCAPS schools. However, TCAPS still highly recommends the wearing of masks at school, and – due to federal mandates – students are still required to wear masks on TCAPS transportation and in Head Start classrooms.
Although the mandate has been lifted, the board remains monitoring COVID-19 numbers at TCAPS schools and will put the mask mandate back into place if anything gets out of hand.
When the decision to lift the mask mandate was made, one of the board’s concerns was how people wearing masks and people not wearing masks would treat one another. This concern was evident when, during morning announcements on January 3, EMS Principal Mr. Perkins made an announcement reminding students that the choice to wear a mask is their own, and that it was not okay to bully or make fun of people who they disagree with.
Already, the ratio of people wearing masks to people not wearing masks is pretty even. Though, some people just don’t feel comfortable around people not wearing masks, which has caused a teacher shortage on top of the current teacher shortage which has already been causing problems for TCAPS.
In fact, on January 5, 2022, the third day without the mask mandate, West Middle School was forced to cancel school due to staffing shortages. Furthermore, some students are worried that school will go online for either staff shortages or COVID-19 numbers.
The decision to lift the mask mandate is already affecting students, the only thing up to speculation is; do the benefits outweigh the disadvantages?
For those who spoke towards taking away the mask mandate, many find the pros outweigh the cons because with the masks they found that students were experiencing headaches. They also argued that students’ mental health was declining due to the masks.
For those against taking away the mask mandate, they found the cons outweigh the pros because they found that without the masks COVID-19 numbers would spike and further endanger the wellbeing of students and staff while also endangering the education of students through them missing school to quarantine.
All things considered, the decision has already been made, and TCAPS will either be benefited or worsened by it.