After a year and half of learning at home, Venice High returns to school with masks. It may be the best decision to make for health and safety reasons—but that doesn’t make it easy, according to some students and teachers.
“I feel good about wearing masks in school,” said senior Joshua Martinez. “Although I do think it would be a lot easier to play sports, go up the stairs, and do many other activities with them off, knowing it can save a life makes putting your mask on worth it.”
Sophomore Rose Stanton said that she believes wearing a mask is necessary.
¨I feel that it is a smart precaution and I have no problem with wearing one if it helps keep others safe,¨ she said.
Math teacher Tim Liang said that he believes that wearing a mask is beneficial to keeping each other safe.
“Wearing a mask is not only for keeping others safe, but it also shows how much an individual cares for others,” he said. “I think as soon as an individual steps out of his or her private property, wearing a mask is a must.”
Another math teacher, John Bruno, compared wearing masks to wearing seatbelts.
“We hate wearing seatbelts, because sometimes they’re not comfortable, but at the same time, they’re for safety,” he said.
Bruno also noted how masks have affected his teaching this year.
“As a teacher, it is harder to get to know my students at the beginning of the year, because I can’t really see their faces,” he said. “You know, so I feel like this year has been taking me longer to get to know students’ names.”
“Our number one job as a teacher at the school is to educate our students, but I also want them to be educated safely. That’s what I care about the most.”
According to Liang, “Daily life with masks at school isn’t easy, but we have to remember that we aren’t just wearing a mask for nothing—it is to protect ourselves, as well as the people around us, and our loved ones.”
“Without a mask in school, I think the effectiveness of vaccines would really get tested,” he said. “I think I would end up getting COVID-19, and that is just not safe for my unvaccinated five year-old son.”
Martinez also addressed the bigger picture of wearing masks.
“It’s not about political views, but more about the people you care and love,” he said.
“This pandemic has introduced masks into the Venice community’s lives. Because of this change, it makes the Venice community stronger,” Stanton said.
“I know these are extremely challenging times for so many different reasons, but I believe if we all play our part in wearing our masks and getting vaccinated, we can get through this with the help from our friends, family, community, and of course our school,” she said.