To mask or not to mask: a mix of student opinions


Maddie Shannon

BSM Class of 2023: William Frattalone, Morgan Olson, Peter Giertsen

When the pandemic hit in the early months of 2020, no one knew what to expect. Since then Covid-19 has played a massive role in the BSM community. Through all of the challenges, the setbacks have seemed to start to fade away; however, BSM has recently removed the mask mandate for faculty and students. There are various opinions around this decision, some very in favor of mandating masks, some in the middle, and others extremely against it.

Many people also perceive the regulations of Covid in a way that influences political perspectives outside of the virus itself. “Personally I think that BSM mandating masks is authoritarian, and I firmly believe that everyone has a right, individually, to determine their own health risk assessment, and I think that someone can’t be coerced into wearing something that they don’t agree with, if it has a direct impact on their daily life,” senior Jacob Runman said.

Others do not look at it from a political perspective but rather how rampant the virus currently is and how it is affecting the people in our area. “Obviously I think masks aren’t ideal, but I understand the current situation and circumstances that we are in. I think now that the cases are down and we are a smaller school, I think that we should get the choice,” senior Sydney Drees said.

As a community, BSM has done their best to push through the pandemic and keep as many people as happy as possible which is very difficult to do in a time like this. “I think we should keep the masks for the time being because a lot of people are inside because of cold weather. I think that as it gets warmer and we can spread out and be outside more we should consider taking the masks off, if it is safe to do so,” junior Max Wendt said.

Many students also have an opinion somewhere in the middle, not agreeing or disagreeing about wearing a mask, but believing that everyone should have a choice. “I think that they should not require masks, and it should be up to personal preference because some people strongly believe in masks and others do not,” freshman Anna Johannson said.

Mandating masks for students is a very controversial topic in the halls of BSM and students at BSM have far ranging opinions on masks and very different reasonings. “I personally like the mask mandate because it keeps it consistent for everyone and it makes people feel safe; a lot of people have a different opinion about them so if we are all wearing them it does not divide us as much,” sophomore Ben Norris said.

Students at BSM also may have an opinion strictly based on comfort swaying towards either side. “I just think that wearing a mask all day makes the day harder and distracts me sometimes, so I don’t like them,” junior Peter Giertsen said.

Some students don’t like the risk of getting sick and like having the comfort of wearing a mask to get them through the day. “It made me happy that we had masks at BSM because I felt comfortable and I did not have to worry as much about getting sick,” senior Bjorn Lervick said.

Wearing a mask or not wearing a mask can be perceived as political and the judgment high schoolers will make, keeping it consistent for everyone is the best way to go, and it will make it less stressful for everyone. A class of 2022 student who decided to stay anonymous for this article stated, “Although masks aren’t anyone’s ideal, I think it’s important we keep them on until cases continuously stay low. With the option to wear a mask comes a fear of judgment for many. People worry about other students perceiving them as too up tight, or on the other hand, selfish for not wearing a mask. Political stances may also be assumed which can be stressful for many. Until it’s clear that BSM students are safe to take off their masks, we should all have them.”