The Montgomery County Board of Education met Tuesday and officially made the decision to make wearing masks optional in all schools. The change was highly expected, as days before many anticipated changes to the mask mandate. The meeting itself was extremely tense, with security guards having to intervene and children being booed for their pro-mask testimony. Board member Lynne Harris says, “I was incredibly disappointed at any of you who booed those students, those students have an equal right to speak, and they’re the ones who live in our buildings every day.” Hana O’Looney, the current Student Member of the Board, did not attend the meeting because of cyberbullying prior to the meeting.
In a recent poll, 81% of Blake students voted against removing masks, while 19% voted that it was time for masks to go. These results were not surprising, as in the hallway and in classes, most are still wearing masks. Though the number of people wearing masks today might dwindle, it still speaks to the fact most think masks should stay on. This change by the Board is most likely an experiment to test if the threat of Covid has really been reduced that much or not. If cases start to spike again, expect the decision to be reversed, but if cases don’t rise too much, this will be the new reality.