Mask Mandate Throughout Triton

Mask Mandate Throughout Triton

By: Madison Hillick

Walking into Triton High School you see masks covering the mouth and noses of all students and staff throughout the building. Hand sanitizing stations are at every corner alongside wipes and extra masks to spare. It has been a huge adjustment for everybody, and it has affected people in all kinds of ways. 

“I don’t really mind it to be honest. I would rather not wear one, but oh well” said Triton Senior Dylan Merrill, when asked about his opinion on masks. Many students and staff members seem to share the same opinion as Merrill. 

When interviewed, business teacher Mr. Stokes shared “masks make it more difficult to hear students, I find myself having to project my voice a lot more”. Masks have slowed down the learning process in the classroom. Stokes also added, “I think masks seem to bother more this year than last year. Maybe because it’s been happening for so long.” 

Though nobody wants to wear a mask, people have learned to adjust and accept this new part of their lives. But some students tend to struggle with their masks. When asked about this Merrill stated, “I understand why others don’t want to wear them, but it’s something we all need to do”. 

“I have a few students that are slightly problematic with masks. I find them leaving their masks under their nose or their chin, which is frustrating” said Stokes. It’s clear that having to teach and learn while wearing masks all day can be difficult. Luckily the school has implemented breaks into the daily schedule for everyone. 

They call them “Mask Breaks”. Triton has incorporated them into the schedule as a way for students to take a rest from masks. They take place outside, mainly near door seventeen and by the tennis courts. They occur either at the beginning or end of any class, and they tend to happen almost every class period, depending on whether the class or teacher wants to go outside. 

“I’m a big fan of mask breaks because I don’t like to sit still for a long time. So it’s nice to go out for a period of the class”, said Merill. Not only does he see it as a break from masks, but a break from learning. Most seem to agree with Merrill on this topic. Stokes shares the same feelings towards mask breaks as well. “I am a fan of mask breaks. I enjoy getting the chance to go outside and getting to take my mask off”. 

A very important figure of the Triton community gave some input on this topic. Patrick Kelley, the principal of Triton spoke about what we need to do to reach a safe enough environment, so students don’t need to wear masks. 

“We need to reach an eighty percent threshold of vaccination rates across all three towns, right now only forty percent of students have submitted their vaccination status,” said Kelley. It is something the school has been working towards but will take some more time. “The mask mandate was pushed back to January fifteenth,” said Kelley. 

The Triton principal has also noticed a handful of students failing to wear masks correctly. “In the hall, I could see almost twenty kids not wearing it. I find myself having to ask them to fix it a lot,” said Kelley. The punishments are now increasing because of this. “Detentions and suspensions have been given out to a few students”. 

Though masks are not everybody’s favorite thing in the world, we are all wearing them for a purpose. If there was one upside to masks, it would be the breaks given to us by the school. Not only can they be used as a break from wearing masks, but they also provide the opportunity to unwind and take a break from the classroom.