Mask Mandate Lifted For DeForest Area High School

DeForest Area High School Staff’s Opinion On The New Mask Mandate

Picture+Credit+to+Carithers+Pediatric+Group

Picture Credit to Carithers Pediatric Group

The mask mandate for COVID-19 in Dane County, Wisconsin was lifted March 1, 2022. Dane County numbers are going down and staying controlled, resulting in the mask mandate being optional. DeForest Area School District(DASD) then followed the Dane County guidelines by making masks optional. With about 60 staff members for DeForest Area High School(DAHS), I asked three of them to give me their thoughts, ideas and overall opinion on the new mask mandate for DAHS. Teachers had a variety of opinions. 

The principal of DAHS, Pheng Lee, put in his opinion on the mask mandate being lifted. I asked him about if he thinks it was the best decision to make masks optional for the students, staff and the overall district. He said, “All along, we have followed Dane Public Health and the Medical Advisory Board and their guidance/recommendations. Since they are the experts in their field and this is their recommendation, we follow it.

Christian Ezell, DAHS English teacher, agrees with Lee on lifting the mask mandate. “Yes, prolonging mask mandates, especially when guidelines were changing and many other states and school districts were dropping mandates, would have led to worse things than any potential drawbacks that MAY come from making masks optional.” He also goes on to say, “[Masks]  are more than just a barrier to potential viruses: They hurt my face, they hide my face, they force me to smell my own breath all day, and they inhibit verbal and nonverbal communication.”

A source from the DAHS staff asked to remain anonymous had some input of the mask mandate. When asked about their overall opinion on masks, the anonymous staff member replied, “Totally supported it, especially early on as there was much less we knew about the way Covid worked, BUT as someone who is vaccinated and boosted, if the science tells me my major risk factors are very low and only those who continue to be unvaccinated face the serious complications risks, I’m ready to return to normal.” 

Overall the mask mandate being lifted has all three staff members agreeing that it has been a pretty positive effect. Kids, staff and the overall district are respecting others’ decisions as long as they do not let others influence theirs.