Originally approved July 28, 2021, Broward County Public Schools has instituted a mask mandate for the 2021-2022 school year. With the COVID-19 pandemic showing few signs of stopping, the decision was made to prioritize the safety of the Fort Lauderdale High School community.
There was apprehension among all parties about how the mandate would affect the school community. Regardless, FLHS students have been excellent about following precautions, which was expected by many students and staff knowing the severity of the virus.
“Everyone is prepared,” said Interim Principal Sean Curran. “It’s nice to see everybody work together to keep everybody safe.”
FLHS students have stated their worries over the circumstances and how they expect to overcome it.
“I expected the mask mandate to be taken very seriously, as COVID is very contagious and is killing lots of people,” said Luna Burton (9).
While some students had high hopes for their peers, others were worried about whether or not they would fully cooperate.
“Honestly, I was quite surprised by how cooperative the students were regarding the masks,” said Marius Brossard (12). “Last year, when more than half the school was at home, the students who were on campus did not fully respect the mask rule, despite its enforcement.”
With these changes, students and administration have also been integrating masks into their outfits as more than just a precaution.
“It gives me another way to express myself,” said Edward Ochoa (9).
“I definitely prefer the cloth masks because it makes me feel more dressed and appropriate,” said Ms. Jacklyn James.
Other students have commented on receiving a confidence boost from wearing them, like Darwin Rodriguez (12). “Since half of my face is covered, I don’t have to worry about how I look as much as I normally would.”
For some students, the garments have transformed from a requirement into more of a fashion accessory to match their clothes.
“Today, I chose to wear a unique mask because it kind of color-coordinates with my outfit,” said Madelene Cox (12).
What started out as a nuisance has turned into a healthy habit.