My School Finally Goes Mask Optional
And why I understand the frustration of Ron DeSantis
This Monday I will teach without a mask over my face for the first time since March 13, 2020, the day my state shut schools down for “two-weeks to flatten the curve.” Teachers and students can now choose to mask or not at my school. Nearly every single school within a 30-mile radius of mine has already gone mask optional. Many went mask optional in December immediately after the court shot down the state mandate. Since then, I have fought my administration over the continuation of mandatory masking. Surely, many parents have put additional pressure on my school to lift the mandate over the last couple of weeks.
However, as the popular discourse on school mandates began to shift, the mask cult reached their nadir with a piece in the The Atlantic titled “Mask Mandates are Illogical. So What?” This asinine article must have turned off even the most ardent supporters of mask mandates.
The author of this piece seems to understand quite clearly the futility of mandatory masking. She goes on to point out the inconsistencies of compelling people to mask in some circumstances, while not doing so in others, before quoting an epidemiologist from Johns Hopkins University, Dr. David Dowdy, who admits the “main benefit is not so much the masking itself, but the message to society that this wave is not yet over.” Well, since masks do not prevent the spread of viruses, it has always been about “messaging,” or, more accurately, virtue signaling. And the wave is over.
The author ends her mandate apology by stating that “mask policies can still make sense, so long as they serve a community’s shared goals.” She called mask mandates “illogical” in her title but ends up saying they can still “make sense” in her conclusion. This incredible cognitive dissonance can only come from a senior associate editor at a Covid propaganda organ like The Atlantic.
Because, now, even my “progressive” school community can no longer pretend to have any rationale for forced masking. The teachers who continue to mask, though, can perform in their make believe pandemic theater. I will quietly exit stage left, and I hope all my students join me.
Many students at my school, especially those in the lowest grades, however, will feel compelled to carry on with this pathological behavior, either because their ignorant parents will force them to wear a mask, or because fearful teachers will encourage masking.
Because of this fact, I share the frustration that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently displayed before a press conference on cybersecurity education funding at the University of Souther Florida.
DeSantis asked a group teenagers to “please” take off their masks because they are “not doing anything.” His ire, here, was not really with these teenagers - it was with the adults present for the conference.
Appearing on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” DeSantis maintained that “none of the adults were wearing masks,” and it looked like someone told the students that they had to wear them. Addressing accusations of “bullying,” DeSantis reminds Tucker’s viewers that “bullying is forcing kids to wear masks for eight-hours a day, which they did for two-years, and are only stopping because the polling’s changed.”
DeSantis was right to tell these students that “we have to stop with this Covid theater.”
Ultimately, my frustration, too, is with the adults that have brainwashed so many kids, and traumatized others, into fearing a disease that poses less of a risk to their health than annual influenza, and for lying to them - either knowingly or unknowingly - by stating that cloth and surgical masks protect them from viruses.
Finally, at the end of the day, no child should hide their face behind a mask.
Hopefully this Monday, in my classroom, none will.