Student views on the mask-optional policy

The lifting of the mask mandate allows students and their families to make their own decisions.



On Sunday, February 27th, 2022 the district sent out and email informing students and parents that masks are now optional.

Kate Gilliland, Staff Writer

As of Monday, February 28th, 2022 all North Allegheny schools have become mask optional, as have a majority of schools across the country.  At NASH, the number of students and staff who have decided to continue wearing masks and the number opting to go without appears to be split.

NASH junior Max Mance supports the choice, believing it is a good idea for schools to be mask optional considering the decrease in COVID cases and hospitalizations in Allegheny County.

“If you want to wear a mask, you can wear a mask and be protected at all times,” said Mance. “If you don’t feel the need to wear a mask, you should have your freedom to go to school however you want.”

Jackie Chalifoux, another junior at NASH, sees the situation differently.

“I personally think it was not a good idea for the school because the CDC changed their recommendations so that now transmission is based on the number of hospitalizations, so essentially instead of focusing on the frequency of the disease in the population they are focussing on the severity of the disease,” Chalifoux said. “But I think it was a good thing that the school made masks highly recommended, and there’s still a large percentage of kids at NASH that still wear their mask.”

For Chalifoux, the decision to continue wearing a mask is partly based on her family situation.

“My parents both work at a hospital and there is still COVID in the hospitals, and until that decreases more, I would like to continue to wear my mask just to keep everyone around me safe,” the junior added.

Among other reasons that some students continue to wear a mask at NASH is the sports season.

NASH junior Lexi Sundgren is on the NA Swim Team, which recently won a record 14th WPIAL title.

“I don’t really care if people wear a mask or not,” Sundgren said. “I just personally choose to wear one. I am on the Swim Team, and I did not want to risk getting COVID before WPIALs or states.”