To Mask Or Not To Mask

To Mask Or Not To Mask

Anavi Prakash, Editor

‘To mask or not to mask?’ has been the question filling up conversations around Whitefish Bay for the past week. This is because today the WFB School Board is meeting to determine whether or not the district should go mask optional. 

Currently, Whitefish Bay is one of the few districts in the North Shore with required masks. 

A poll of 32 students across all four grades showed that 59.4% of respondents (19 students) would like to keep the mask mandate in place, while 40.6% (13 students) want a mask optional policy to be put in place. While these are the views of students at Whitefish Bay High School, they do not represent the entire student body. 


For those who think the mask policy should stay, there were various reasons. 

One freshman wants to keep the mandate because they “have family with weakened immune system[s].” 

A sophomore student extended this sentiment,  saying, “I know of teachers and students with immunocompromised family members and it isn’t fair to them. The situation is definitely a lot better than it was over winter break but I don’t mind wearing a mask since it does keep us safe.” 

They added that given that it is winter, “my mask keeps me warm.”

A junior looked at the case rates, saying “Though we are nearing a point where masks may not be needed, caseloads still continue to rise, and we have not yet reached a solid point where masks are completely irrelevant.” There was a surge in cases right after winter break, and with spring break coming up, another increase in cases is likely. 

Another junior said the mask policy should stay “Because the pandemic isn’t over, and because masks work to protect us and our families. It isn’t hard to wear a mask so I don’t understand why people are making a fuss about it.” 

Many of the students who are pro-masks required would also like to see the school enforce the policy more. 

Looking at the current policy, one junior said, “I see a lot of students with masks below the nose. It’s not hard to follow a simple mandate. Protect yourself and others around you that possibly aren’t able to get the vaccine.” 

A senior said, “It is not implemented, [and] I’d say about 10 percent of students never wear their mask over their nose.” A freshman seconded that sentiment, saying “It [the policy] is not as strict as it should be. I see many people with masks under their noses and even under their chins, which is defeating the purpose of them.”


On that note, the fact that some students do not wear their masks properly is why some students feel that the mask policy should become one where masks are optional. 

A junior said, “If we are going to be forced to wear masks, teachers might as well be implementing it and making sure people are wearing them correctly.” This, as seen above through other students’ views, is not currently happening. 

Another junior said, “It’s not working, people just don’t care anymore. They will put on their nose/ chin, eat in condensed and maskless groups during lunch, etc. Why even have it if you aren’t going to enforce the full mask rule?”  

Addressing the current case rates, a junior said, “At this present moment, the current cases are very low. I think we should take advantage of this and go mask optional. I’m not saying by any means that this policy should be permanent … But I believe that we should enjoy what we are given while we have it.” 

With this, it is important to note that reported cases depend on the number of people who get tested. 

Some students brought up the lack of equality that comes with the current mask policy, a junior saying, “people in sports and in the weight room don’t really wear their masks properly anyway.” 

They added, “when I’m around my friends I don’t wear a mask and they are the ones I will most likely give it to.” 


All in all, students are split on whether or not masks should be optional. There are many factors to keep in mind, including the health of the community, the fairness when it comes to creating a policy, and the factors that attribute to cases outside of school. 

Even if the policy does not change to be completely optional, some students want to see it change in some way, shape, or form, to create more equality for all students. 

The final decision will be made tonight at the school board meeting. 


Tower Times will be reporting on the final decision once it has been made.