Everyone Has an Opinion about Mask Mandates

Opinion by Kody Hendrix, NPHS Journalism Staff

Recently, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida passed executive order 21-175. This order was put into effect July 30th and serves to limit the ability of schools to mandate masks. The order claims that mask mandates on children “may lead to negative health and societal ramifications,” and that “forcing students to wear masks lacks a well-grounded scientific justification.” Despite these claims and the executive order, North Port High School has put in place a mask mandate for 90 days (about 3 months), with a premature end if transmission rates drop.  

Considering the high rates of quarantine within the first week of the school year, this decision seems to be the correct one. As a school hosting “2300 students and 130 faculty members” according to the official NPHS website, the high density of students makes the school a breeding ground for Covid cases. In addition to this, the school has experienced an influx of students this year, leaving school buses crowded and classrooms full. Without the ability to fully space students the same way as last year, a mask is the only option to protect students.  


Opinion by Yanna Tyrak, NPHS Yearbook Editor

It started off as an extra week off, now it’s mask and vaccine mandates. It has now become a national debate. What is it? It’s the virus, Covid-19! Many people have been arguing for a while now regarding different rules around the world. Although some think masks and vaccines should be mandatory, many believe otherwise. Personally, I believe masks and vaccines should not be mandatory. There are many people with health issues in which they can’t get vaccinated or wear masks.  

An argument that has been around for a while now with abortion is, “My body my choice.” How about when it comes to vaccines and masks? Shouldn’t everyone be able to decide their own safety precautions? Some will say that not wearing a mask and not getting vaccinated is risking other people’s lives. If they believe they will be harmed by people not wearing masks, then they can wear one themselves. According to investigators with the Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea, “Surgical and cotton masks are both ineffective when it comes to blocking droplets of the virus SARS–CoV-2 that may be generated when somebody coughs.” If you did your research, you would see that a cough is indeed a symptom of Covid-19.  

The Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, recently issued Executive Order 21-175. As stated in the Executive Order 21-175, “WHEREAS, on June 29, 2021, I signed into law H.B. 241, The Parents’ Bill of Rights, which prevents the state, its subdivisions, or any governmental institution, from infringing on the from the fundamental rights of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, health care, or mental health of a minor child without demonstrating that such action is reasonable and necessary to achieve a compelling state interest and that such action is narrowly tailored and is not otherwise served by less restrictive means.” DeSantis also states, “pursuant to Florida law, all parents have the right to make health care decisions for their minor child.” According to law, the school district has no right to mandate masks at school, for it is now a parent’s choice to have their child wear a mask.   


Surge of Safety

Opinion by Geneve Fredette

Recently a temporary mandate has been passed by school board to mandate masks.  

As of August 20th, 2021, Sarasota school district has passed a safety measure because of the recent rise of COVID cases. During that meeting many strong points have been brought up in case of this new rule passing. For instance, in ‘Herald-Tribune’, the superintendent pointed out how it would,” create even more division among our community and animosity toward the school district.”  

Though after all the discussions about the negative effects to passing this temporary rule such as the “increase lawsuits from parents” and causing “our district to be views negatively in the press; not allowing students to attend mandatory school and or be disciplined”, the board voted 3-2 to introduce the mandate in the ‘Sarasota Magazine’. This is the best option for our school district because of the risen COVID rates with the current positivity rate of 23%. Students should be able to learn without the interruption of being sick and masks can solve this issue.  

Although masks cannot guarantee total protection, it can prevent the majority. A student that I’ve reached out to from Palm Beach County, Enjelica Sangster has also recently been provided this new rule at school with mandatory masks.  She also stated,” masks are a good thing because it protects people from germs as well as keep their germs to themselves instead of spreading them around. So, the mask mandate is helping everyone safe as best as possible.” The fact that another county is having difficulty with controlling this virus tells us that this and the new strand of virus would cause chaos in other counties or perhaps states as well.  

Although schools have already handled this year by doing hybrid or doing selective seating, our district goes forward with mandatory mask rule until the rise of COVID slows down and hits a halt. I believe that masks should always be worn. Although people may oppose this new rule, wearing a mask in social settings can help the community in the long run.