Despite mandate removal, teacher masking decisions remains divided

Even on dynamic duos day, Mr. John Groess wears a mask; however, Ms. Abigail Ash does not.

It is now common knowledge that BSM has revoked their mask mandate. With this being said, it is now up to each individual whether or not they would like to wear a mask. A heavy majority of the student population has chosen to stop wearing masks, but based on observation and word of mouth, the majority of the teachers have chosen to remain wearing their masks.

BSM religion teacher and head volleyball coach Michael Becker is one of the teachers who chose to keep wearing a mask. He is choosing to wear a mask when he is in class because it is a large group in a tight space. Personal experiences were a factor regarding the decision to wear a mask. “Right before we decided to get rid of our mask mandate, my sister and all my nieces and nephews got Covid from school and so that just kind of scared me,” Becker said.

Becker plans to stay consistent with this plan until the numbers drop and the risk lowers significantly. “A lot of my colleagues have younger kids at home that can’t get vaccinated so I just want to do my part to protect them and help keep them safe,” Becker said.

Despite coming in and teaching everyday, Mr. Becker is still not 100% comfortable doing so. He was hesitant when the topic came up, but then continued to respond that he is much more comfortable than last year. “I’m kind of…a germ freak, so this is an interesting time for me,” Becker said.

BSM Ultimate Frisbee head coach and math teacher John Groess has made the decision to continue wearing his mask, despite the mandate being lifted. His decision to wear a mask was based on numbers and statistics, and was left with questions as to why BSM chose to lift this mandate. “I think it’s a little confusing when they have been doing preventative measures in other things to lift that, but I think they are looking at the numbers and making the call they think is right,” Groess said.

BSM has had to be very flexible considering the state of the country the past two years. They have finally made their way back to being fully in person without masks for the first time since March 2020. Mr. Groess remembers the sad reality of having to teach students virtually. “I think after the last two years I am kind of in this constant state of being ready to prepare, but also this year I am just kind of ready for things to change randomly…” Groess said.