Recently Lifted School Mask Mandate


Amelia McCrory

Horizon Honors remains with a mask mandate, but Governor Ducey tells schools they can decide.

Amelia McCrory, Columnist

As of April 19, 2021, Governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, lifted the mask mandate for Arizona schools, meaning that schools are capable of requiring or not requiring students to wear masks on their campus. As a result, many people questioned whether this was the appropriate decision for Arizona as a whole. 

As stated by AZ Family, Ducey announces, “Teachers, families, and students have acted responsibly to mitigate the spread of the virus and protect one another, and our school leaders are ready to decide if masks should be required on their campuses. We will continue to work with public health professionals and Arizona’s schools as more students return to the classroom and our state moves forward.”

A short while later, 12 News adds that Ducey stated in a tweet, “New: In alignment with @CDCgov guidance, I’m rescinding orders that direct K-12 schools to require masks.” To explain, Ducey made an informed decision by looking at statistics and information provided by the CDC. Now, this may seem like a valid explanation with the CDC guiding most of the health decisions made this year, but the CDC’s recommendations actually conflict with this message. To prove this, the CDC shares that people should continue to wear masks with the possibility of being asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. But the wearing of masks could no longer be necessary with the upbringing of new technology and the slow decline in cases.

Another example of this controversy was displayed by 12 News, when they reported that our Superintendent, Democrat, Kathy Hoffman, stated, “Today’s abrupt removal of the mask mandate in schools is just one example in a long line of decisions that have resulted in Arizona’s embarrassing response to the virus that has claimed over 17,000 lives and affected thousands more.” Arizona has had some challenging moments in the past, but it seems appropriate for our lives to return to normal again. Likewise, Ducey and other leaders are putting Arizona’s best interest first, handing the choice over to the individual school districts. Agreeing with Ducey’s decision, Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ believes that Arizona is becoming further protected by COVID-19 and schools are now ready to decide for themselves if masks will be necessary.

Some schools that continue to honor the mask mandate at the moment are our own Horizon Honors, Tempe Union High School District, Gilbert Public Schools, Mesa Public Schools, and many more. Multiple school districts have waited to lift their requirements until further discussion and review. This would allow them to guarantee that their students have a smooth and safe transition back to normal. It is apparent that we are making progress to soon make Arizona the great state it once was.