Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Labor and Industry
Safety and Health Codes Board
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2/18/22  7:10 pm
Commenter: Jill Whitescarver

Mask choice is crucial for all

I am a CCPS teacher and parent in Virginia. Since students have been given a choice on masks in my district, there has been a drastic reduction in Covid positives in my classroom. I have noticed more and more students are not wearing masks, and there is more interaction between them. Every effect from this has been a truly positive one. I’m still baffled why we as teachers are going to school with the healthiest part of our communities with the healthiest immune systems, and we are forced to wear masks while trying to muffle through the day. At this point, I am standing in front of a far majority of an unmasked class with a mask on. This is lunacy. And making any excuse about “vaccinations” are also lunacy, because it’s obvious they have not worked in preventing Covid. I personally know people in situations where these drugs have had quite the opposite effect and have caused problems. 

By using common sense, we can look at the evidence and deduct that masks are not effective. On top of that, kids have been hurt in many ways by wearing them, and by their teachers wearing them. Anyone who argues otherwise does not understand child psychology or how the world of education works.  When children walk into their classrooms and cannot see the faces or expressions of the people caring for and teaching them, this is a serious problem that affects them mentally and psychologically.  Having a masked teacher makes it substantially more difficult to connect to him/her, and we know that when children connect to their teachers, it sets the stage for effective learning. Another part of never seeing a teacher’s face is understanding expressions and how they relate to communication. This does not even address the sound issue of the importance of successfully and correctly hearing their teacher, as well as the fact that children need to see how letter sounds are formed in the mouth.  Until we remove the barrier of masks, the effects of this has, is, and will continue to monumentally affect children’s understanding of and their ability to communicate verbally and understand nonverbal communication. And these are vital skills all children need. 

Since giving students the right to choose on masks, students have been doing wonderfully. There was a palpable feeling of relief and joy when they realized they had that choice. Some have continued to wear them, and some have chosen not to, but the best thing is that they have been afforded the freedom to choose.  It is important that we ALL are given that right.

CommentID: 119678