Mask stock shortages result as students don’t wear masks to school

Complementary masks provided in the front office have been more heavily relied on by students than originally expected

Hundreds+of+students+rely+on+school+provided+masks+found+in+the+front+office.

Mason Thompson

Hundreds of students rely on school provided masks found in the front office.

Stacy Avitia, Writer

An announcement sent out on Oct. 12 said, “MHS is down to about 100 disposable masks and [we] do not know when we will receive another shipment.”

The school got down to 100 disposable masks relatively quickly. The reliance students have had on provided masks was unexpected.

Communications secretary Ms. Shields said, “We go through about two [or] three boxes of masks a day — roughly 350 masks.”

Some students consistently forget a mask and are dependent on the free masks offered in the front office. So many students are relying on masks provided by the school that face coverings are unable to be shipped quickly enough.

This problem can be solved by students bringing their own masks to school.

There are many reasons why students use complimentary masks.

Renya Morrissey (‘23) prefers to grab masks from the front office when she forgets hers in her car in order to avoid being late. For some, getting their own masks from their car means missing the first five or ten minutes of class.

Morrissey (‘23) said, “I just go inside and grab a mask from the office because I don’t want to be late to my class.”

As students have all been wearing masks for a year and a half now, administrators expect students to be more responsible with bringing and wearing masks.

The school isn’t entirely out of masks — administration is still ordering from suppliers. However, as said by Principal Dr. Young, “What we weren’t anticipating was the number of students that would rely on the school to provide masks every day.”

Options after standard disposable masks have been used are generally less desirable, such N-95 masks. These may be less comfortable or “stylish”. 

The school resides in an area where there is a mask mandate as has been established by the school board, so it is not an option to come to school without a mask and without a mask exemption.

Dr. Young said the worst case scenario is that students have to sit in the office until someone can bring them a mask from home. 

There are students who are consistent with wearing their masks and feel everyone should always have a mask on hand.

Hannah Kearns (‘23) said that mask are “important because you don’t want to get anyone sick”. 

She continued, “When I wear my mask I feel more protected and I’m protecting other people… [I’m] being a good peer and [a] good student.”

Students who depend on the school to provide them masks, however, often feel otherwise.

Kaliegh Beamish (‘23) said, “It’s just convenient when I forget my mask. The office is right there and has a whole box.” However, since the mask shortage, Beamish (‘23) said she hasn’t been dependent on the office for masks.

The school’s main goal is to keep students safe and keep everyone here for in-person leaning. The best way to keep students out of quarantine is to always have a mask. Have an extra in your car or backpack in case you forget to leave the house with one.