EPISD mask mandate creates division among students


Kalista Fong

Anyone entering an EPISD has been required to wear mask or mouth covering after the district followed similar mandates from other districts in the state.

Elijah Pedroza and Isaac Escobar

EPISD students have been split on the opinion of face coverings after the district decided to follow the CDC’s suggestion of a mask mandate due to rising cases of the Delta Variant.

At the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, masks were not mandatory on campus until Aug. 17. Since then, students have been required to wear masks indoors, covering both their mouth and nose. Masks have been made available to those who do not have one of their own.   

The district released a statement saying, “Any student or staff member not in compliance with this mask mandate, unless otherwise administratively exempted by the order, will be addressed in accordance with established disciplinary procedures aligned with the Student Code of Conduct, Employee Handbook or other district policies regarding student and employee conduct.”

Without masks there is an elevated risk of contracting COVID, especially with the new Delta variant being twice as contagious. With the use of masks, the likelihood of contracting the virus is reduced by 65 percent according to the University of Davis, California.

Over 40 students were polled about the current mask mandate, 61 percent of students were in favor of the masks, while the other 39 percent opposed it.

The same percentage goes for whether or not vaccines are effective to combat the virus. They were also given the opportunity to write out their personal opinions on the mandate.

“I think it’s necessary especially with the possibility of the variant infecting people who are already vaccinated. Masks definitely help and we should know to wear them at least if the pandemic gets any worse,” Maximo Pearson, Junior, said.

Although the majority of students polled are in favor of masks. There’s still a variety of students who are against it.

“It’s a little dumb about how it woks. I take off my mask for lunch, hundreds surround me in the halls, and for a mask that is supposed to protect me from a microscopic germ, it doesn’t protect me from a fart,” Carolina Alarcon said.

Some students stand neutral, having reasoning that pertains to both sides.

“I believe that regardless of whether we are vaccinated or not we can refrain from spreading out more and highly risking our school year to end,” Allexus Bencomo said.