Farewell masks

BVH experiences a decrease in mask usage within classrooms

On+April+27%2C+IB+Dance+students+are+seen+in+second+period+IB+dance+not+wearing+their+masks+as+it+is+not+required+anymore.+However%2C+they+are+working+on+assignments+for+their+IB+Dance+class+on+their+Mental+Health+Day.

Jaime Jazo

On April 27, IB Dance students are seen in second period IB dance not wearing their masks as it is not required anymore. However, they are working on assignments for their IB Dance class on their “Mental Health Day.”

Grace Na, Opinion Editor

Students were seen walking on campus without masks on. On March 11, Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) updated the mask mandate for schools within the district, giving students and staff members the option to wear their masks or not, depending on their vaccination status. Coming back from spring break, Bonita Vista High (BVH) students and teachers could be seen with or without their masks. According to a poll conducted by The Crusader, out of 148 respondents, 57.5 percent are not wearing masks in class.

“I’m okay with it because it’s nice to see that we finally get a choice. I don’t have anything against people who have their masks on or off. I do both. Some days, I’ll be like, ‘okay, maybe I should stay safe’ and other days, I forget to bring a mask, so it’s convenient. I feel like that [the new mask mandate is] good for everyone,” senior Nicholas Eustaquio said. 

There were positive and negative effects of the previous mask mandate where all students and staff members were required to wear their masks and follow COVID-19 protocols. However, for English 10 Accelerated and Drama teacher Rosamaria Sias, she mentions that it was uncomfortable to wear a mask and therefore was ready for the updated mask mandate. She adds on by stating that she trusts the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) decision for allowing masks to be optional, as she sees them as a reliable source. 

“When we had to wear it, I had to depend on technology, specifically the microphone to project. I am a small person and have to project as is, but it was dependent on technology to carry my voice. I was uncomfortable with it,” Sias said. “I don’t wear a mask because the CDC guidelines claim that we don’t necessarily have to unless we’re not vaccinated.”

Although Sias feels comfortable with the updated mask mandate, coming back to school from spring break, she noticed her students continue to wear their masks. This concerned her as she believed that her students continued wearing their masks because they felt insecure about their looks. 

“When we first came back, I noticed that about 90% of my students were still wearing the mask. [I was concerned that] students [were] wearing the mask because they were insecure and lacked confidence. I feel like students are starting to feel more comfortable and confident,” Sias said.

I feel like students are starting to feel more comfortable and confident. ”

— English 10 Accelerated and Drama teacher Rosamaria Sias

Human Geography and Advanced Placement World History teacher Sean Tessada chooses to continue wearing his mask due to the fact that he has a newborn child at home. Tessada worries that the updated mandate could harm his child’s health and therefore, is more cautious in public spaces.

“Having a two-month-old at home, for me, it’s more risky. The last thing I want to do is get my daughter sick. It’s just something I don’t want her to experience,” Tessada said.

Another reason Tessada continues to wear his mask is that he does not want the rate of people getting sick to rise. He believes that wearing a mask can reduce the possibility of new variants being created. 

“When you look at the vaccination rates amongst pre-teens, those numbers aren’t great. When kids get sick[it] continues to push the disease out [in public and] continues to potentially create variants. It also knocks you guys out of school for a long time, which is going to have an academic impact,” Tessada said. 

Overall, Eustaquio believes that BVH students and staff members should have the option to choose whether they want to wear their masks or not. 

“I agree that people should have the option [to take off their mask]. I can see [different perspectives] though. Like, ‘Yes, everyone should stay safe and wear masks’. But I haven’t been keeping track of COVID too much. It doesn’t feel like it’s too much of a problem as it was two years ago, or one year ago,” Eustaquio said.