Regis Jesuit’s Insufficient Health Mandate Enforcement

Regis Jesuits Insufficient Health Mandate Enforcement

Parker Gillen '23

The enforcement of the proper use of masks at Regis Jesuit is atrocious.
Through the semester, from the time that the Tri-County Health Department reinstated the mask mandate in all K-12 schools until now, Regis Jesuit has done a laughable job at making sure their students are wearing their masks properly. The Tri-County Health Department’s requirement explicitly states, “Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public, especially indoors, even if you are vaccinated.”
Over the nose. Every single class, passing period, or time spent inside the school, students must have their masks worn properly and over the nose. I have seen several people wear their masks incorrectly, but the response and reaction from the teachers has been utterly horrendous. Personally, I haven’t seen any students receive any formal discipline for mask-wearing violations. Just a slap on the wrist. This is an incredible example of complacency and misuse of tolerance by Regis Jesuit faculty.
We should not be babying the students who refuse to listen to public safety; we should penalize them for breaking Tri-County Health Department rules. When a teacher tells a student to put their mask over their nose, students often will comply and then immediately pull it back down, because there is no punishment for doing so. The lack of punishment gives these students protection from discipline, and it makes the mandate that was meant to keep people safe meaningless.
Regis Jesuit should stop allowing students to abuse the school’s tolerance for misconduct. At the very least Regis Jesuit should treat the mask mandate violations with the same regard that they do with other clothing violations. The punishment for clothing violations is very clear; first a demerit and later an escalation to further discipline. If the punishment for not wearing something completely unrelated to public health is this severe, then the punishment for not wearing a mask should be tenfold. Regis Jesuit must send a message to parents and students that they are at least taking the virus seriously.
Lack of consideration for mask mandates is the result of severe radicalization thanks in part to right-wing extremists, who deem the virus as nothing more than “a cold,” with the assistance of people like Tucker Carlson who spread misinformation to millions of people. It is Regis Jesuit’s duty to stand for the health and safety of their students and to not allow certain misinformed students to use masks incorrectly within their halls.
As followers of Christ, we are to be truth seekers and are called to listen to the facts. When a state licensed health department says to wear a mask in this way, it’s Regis Jesuit’s duty to enforce that.