New year, new rules

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Some students prefer to wear masks walking from one class to another, while others do not. Freshman Alecsa Cooper says, “I love the idea of being able to take off my mask to get a fresh breath of air now and then, but everyone is so close together it makes me uncomfortable.” (Photo/Kayra Dayi)

With many online students returning to school, Heritage changed its protocols concerning masks. Heritage now requires students to wear their masks indoors and gives them the option to take the masks off outdoors in contrast to the previous year. Last year, students who were in person were required to have their masks on the whole day. 

Students and teachers have different opinions about the new mask mandate. While some may support the mandate, others oppose it. Freshman Ann Hershkovitz thinks it is ridiculous for people not to wear masks in a school with so many kids. She argues that it is too dangerous and puts too many at risk. She opposes the mandate with the argument that students should not take their masks off indoors or outdoors.

In contrast, freshman Amir Hershkovitz thinks that the school should not enforce masks. “I am vaccinated and I don’t think that students need to wear masks if the people at the school follow the safety protocols,” Amir Hershkovitz said.

Besides students, teachers are also required to follow this mandate and have a few opinions about it. Algebra II teacher Mrs. Bubelis thinks that wearing masks is essential for students’ safety, but students should be able to take their masks off while not inside at the same time. “It is good for students to be able to take off their masks outside, we as humans need fresh air,” Mrs. Bubelis said. 

“We have been following CDC guidelines which is why we allowed students to remove masks when outdoors,” Mrs. Elise Blum said, “Things are going well, we have not had outbreaks on campus.” She appreciates that many students are considerate of others’ safety and follow the mandate. Overall, Mrs. Elise Blum reports that things are going well with the new mask mandate and there has been no trouble yet.

Kayra Su Dayi came here from Turkey in 6th grade and will be in 9th grade next year. She loves painting the pictures of nature or animals which she takes with her camera when she finds something captivating or interesting. Aside from art, she plays tennis and competes in speech and debate. She prefers to give informative speeches, but is still in the process of exploring the broad range of speeches. She liked to volunteer at Flamingo Gardens before the pandemic every weekend. She is a member of NJHS and interested to join more clubs next year!