Masks are back
On August 6, Governor Phil Murphy announced that masks would be needed for all staff and students (as well as all visitors) for all schools in grades K through 12 in New Jersey.
Murphy cited a rise in the numbers of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as the reason for the change in policy regarding masks. He also stated the policy could be reversed again.
Governor Murphy’s decision is very disappointing. It does not show progress after a year and half of dealing with the virus and the restrictions. We believe it may be extremely difficult to keep students—particularly younger students—in their masks during a full school day. We do believe full-day in-person learning is a good thing and should remain in place despite the mask mandate.
The decision by the governor is being seen as controversial by some parents and students, and that feeling is justified. While protests have their place, it is critical to keep students in school so they can continue the learning process and make up for the losses of the past 18 months.
It is our hope that after the election, the masks can be removed and students can have a distraction-free learning environment.