Mask Mandate: What now?

Omicron has made its way to Roncalli, here is what the school is doing to help stop it


Photo by Emma Wilson

Mask up royals!- Theology teacher Mr. Normington poses with his mask on at lunch.

It has been a trying time for the world the past couple years. With the outbreak of the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, and sickness spreading everywhere, students are struggling with the new mask mandate. The school has issued a mandate that all students must wear face masks at all times , except for lunch, during the school day.


Omicron is slowly taking over the community. According to the January 19th issue from fox 59, Omicron is responsible for around 74.3% of sampled tests in Indiana. And while it has shown to be less deadly, it has been spreading like wildfire. So administrators are determined to keep all students safe and healthy, hence the mask mandate.  

While there is an obvious downside to masking, keeping students in the school building is paramount according to Mr. John Hasty, interim assistant principal for student life.

“If it [the mask mandate] helps keep you in school and it helps keep available the social and emotional outlets and events and fun things you get to do, then I think it should be viewed as a positive movement,”said Hasty.

The mask mandate has definitely taken a toll on students as they are less than happy about the new changes. But Hasty still expects the very best of all students, hoping that this experience will help students grow.

“I think we hold everyone in this building to a fairly high standard… holding people to a really high standard makes people feel, at times, uncomfortable, and it’s in that area of discomfort that you actually see legitimate growth,” said Hasty.

For a more hands-on point of view, Mr. Tim Crissman, the dean of students, weighed in. Crissman’s job is to enforce school policies. But a punishment for not wearing a mask is a different story. 

“It is not our intention to discipline any students with wearing a mask improperly. It’s all about us as a community doing the right thing to keep students in school,” said Crissman. 

Students aren’t exactly prepared for all these new precautions and guidelines, so the biggest question in student’s minds right now is, what is the estimated time on the mask mandate?

“For as long as it takes for the new wave to move through our community and for Covid-19 to release its grip on our society,” said Crissman.

Roncalli has been going through some tough times these past couple years. And students haven’t exactly seen a normal high school experience. But the school’s main goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy and keep the school year at least a little normal, according to its administrators.