How Masks Have Changed School


photo courtesy of Justin Menjivar

Students and teacher wearing masks inside of an ERHS classroom.

Justin Menjivar, staff writer

Covid-19 made 2020 a year to remember for us all. For students and teachers of Prince George’s County Public Schools, the 2021-2022 will forever be remembered as the school year where face masks were required every day. On July 26, 2021 Monica Goldson, the PGCPS CEO, announced that the county would be requiring students and staff to wear masks for the 2021-2022 school year. Through the first quarter of the school year, students at ERHS can already tell the difference the masks have made, whether it is the communication with the teacher or how they interact with each other.

Ms. Heather Seyler, the journalism teacher at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, is in favor of having to wear face masks in school. She “would feel unsafe if [she] wasn’t wearing a mask.” Seyler does however think “sometimes it’s hard to hear people who are soft-spoken,” which can be quite often. On the students’ side of things, everything is going smoothly. Seyler mentions “students are doing a good job because they know that it is serious.” Proving her point, Bernard Bangura, a senior at ERHS, says he does agree with wearing masks because “it can protect [you] and others.”

With no end in sight for the masks mandate, students and teachers become more anxious to return to the normal life we had before the pandemic. Seyler “look(s) forward to being outside and not having to wear it.” There are a few negatives to wearing the masks. Student Bernard Bangura says “masks are uncomfortable to wear” and “sometimes people find it difficult to hear what I am saying.”

In addition to being a reminder of 2020, the masks serve as protection from a virus that has taken the lives of millions of people. Students and teachers of ERHS will have to persist through the school year to ensure safety and comfort for all.