Public Schools Vs. Private School COVID-19 Precautions


Nava Smith-Litvak

Since schools have begun opening up across the country, mask mandates have spread from school to school, including Emery/Weiner. Here on campus, students roam the hallways with a mask on and are spaced out in the Arbor or at the picnic tables when sitting outside.Most students don’t know, however, that there are other schools, like my former school, Friendswood High, where their faculty isn’t as strict with mask-wearing. 

“Let’s see. Backpack, water bottle, computer, car keys…. Oh, I’m forgetting my mask!” This here is the standard conversation every Emery/Weiner student has with themselves before coming to school every morning. Students attending Friendswood High, on the other hand, might  have different thoughts. “There are people who come to school wearing masks on their chins instead of their face,” says Audrey Henson, a junior at Friendswood High.  “During class, students take their masks off and refuse to cover their noses with their masks. I feel like at Friendswood, masks are more of a choice than being mandatory.”

During their lunch break, Friendswood breaks their students up into three lunch periods: A, B, and C. Students are seated inside of their cafeteria, sitting shoulder to shoulder, maskless, and eat their food the way we once did during a normal school day. “Masks are the new normal,” says Ashley Campbell, another junior at Friendswood. “We need to understand that we are putting people’s lives at risk, and we have to start wearing masks. I don’t know when everyone will begin to comprehend this, but I hope it is soon.” 

Meanwhile, at Emery/Weiner, protecting students and faculty is essential. 11th grader Kate Greenberg, says, “I would feel very uncomfortable if the mandate wasn’t enforced. The masks are enforced because they protect their students, and this pandemic is deadly for many people’s families. The environment would not be safe and secure, and it is the school’s responsibility to put students’ lives in non-risk scenarios.” 

Maddie Ross, another 11th-grade student, agrees with Greenberg, saying, “I wouldn’t be comfortable with it, considering we get new cases every week.” 9th grader Josie Pulaski also agrees with Ross and Greenberg, saying, “I would feel extremely uncomfortable….The safety aspect and the risk that it introduces into my life would be introduced to my family as well as the people I would come in contact with outside of school.”

For the safety of the student body staff at Emery, it is essential to keep a mask on, which makes students feel more comfortable. Due to the abundance of precautions Emery has taken, the school has been successful in keeping open during these difficult times.