New District Mask Policy

Leonardo Diaz , Editorial Editor

On March 29th, 2022 the El Monte Union High School District received news about the new policy for indoor masking sent through an email by Superintendent Dr. Edward A. Zuniga. In the email, it stated, “Beginning Monday, April 4th, 2022, indoor masking will become optional for all students and staff on El Monte campuses, facilities, and on district-operated vehicles including school buses. The District will align itself with the state and county which strongly recommends the wearing of masks indoors.” This new policy is a significant development considering the ramifications it has after nearly two years of a global pandemic that resulted in close to a million deaths in the United States, and a fundamental change in the way people live their everyday lives, including but not limited to wearing a mask in a classroom. 

The Eagles Nest spoke to some students about their thoughts regarding this new policy. Freshman Luke Garcia, a student in the journalism class was asked about his perspective on this new policy for indoor masking. Luke said, “I think that this is good for people who don’t want to wear their masks anymore so they don’t have to feel uncomfortable wearing them when they are in school. I have seen people no longer wearing their masks since the mandate was lifted in our district.”  Some students in the school would still preferably wear their masks indoors. Freshman Gustavo Ruiz said, “Even after this new policy, I would still rather wear a mask indoors so I can be safe, I don’t spread my germs, so people get sick and so I don’t get sick.” Senior Zulema Martinez said, “Personally, I prefer to wear a mask because I feel I’m keeping others safe. For me, it’s just an extra precaution. I don’t really have any problem with anyone not wearing a mask, I just feel safer wearing one.” 

Many students and staff members at schools in the district are getting vaccinated, and wearing their masks all the time indoors and outdoors. This will affect the school’s culture now that students and staff have the option to not have their masks on in class after about 10 months of an indoor mask mandate. This new policy is a pivotal turning point as it is a sign that everybody is returning to a normal life after the Covid-19 pandemic. This was accomplished through the effort of everyone in the school, and in the district to be safe from the virus.