No More Masks?

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Delaney Rice

 

Recently the talk of the schoolwide mask mandate being lifted has been traveling around our schools and homes. Governor Tom Wolf had plans to give local leaders the choice if they want masks to be mandatory in their schools or not, but a recent court case says otherwise. This new ruling from Pennsylvania judge, Christine Fiazzo Cannon, states that the K-12 school mask mandates must be lifted December 4, 2021. Although this is unlikely to be the final ruling of this case. An Article from 6abc.com states “The Commonwealth Court sided with a legal challenge to the masking order. The judges agreed that the state law does not allow the Acting Health Secretary to order a mask mandate. The Department of Health is now appealing the decision and the State Supreme Court will decide the fate of masks in schools.”. Although the CommonWealth Court decided to lift the Pennsylvania schools mask mandate this will not be in effect until after December 8th when the Pennsylvania supreme court decides whether to keep masks in schools.

The Pottsgrove School District held a board meeting on December 2nd 2021 to decide whether or not the current school-wide mask mandate will be lifted. . They proposed the idea that when there is a high contamination rate (50-150 people contaminated) masks will be mandatory around our schools, whereas if there is a low contamination rate (0-50 people contaminated) masks will be optional. The outcome of the school board meeting seems to be that if the Pennsylvania supreme court does end up lifting the mask mandate, our school’s plan would not be going into effect until they revisit this topic in late February.

This has caused quite a controversy around our school with many opinions. I got to include a few for some insight about what students believe is best for themselves and their peers. Freshman, Grace Novitski, believes that masks should still be required if COVID-19 cases continue to rise, she also believes that masks should continue to be required into next year for students and staff’s safety. I also got to speak with another freshman, Ethan Chambers, who believes that we definitely need to wear masks for our safety, he also believes that if the mandate does get lifted COVID-19 cases in our school will begin to rise again. Regardless, this decision will most likely not be made by our school until late February so please continue to be aware of our schools updates about our mask policy.