Recent mask mandate forces students in Pennsylvania to wear masks


Olivia VanDeCar

Lucas Evans (left) and Troy Renolds (right) stand outside third period without their masks on. When outside you do not have to wear your masks.

Audrey Mooney, News Editor

On Aug. 31, the Pennsylvania Department of Health  Acting Secretary Alison Beam signed an order requiring that face coverings will be worn in all school buildings (PK – 12) and daycares. This order came into effect on Tuesday, Sept. 7.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, “[This order] will remain in effect until the Acting Secretary of Health determines the public health risk is sufficiently reduced.” We will have to wear masks until the department of education  and department of health say it’s clear, but until then we will be wearing them. There are some exceptions, though. If you are younger than two years you don’t have to wear a face covering, along with when you are eating and drinking. Mask breaks are allowed during recess or outdoor activities.  

We have the plexiglass in the cafeteria, we are also encouraging the use of hand sanitizer, and trying to social distance in the school, though that is hard,” Ms. Daine Workman, Acting Superintendent, stated. Freedom Area School District is trying hard to make sure we can stay in school. People who support the mask mandate have thanked the school for following the rules, and complying to the mask mandate. People who don’t like the mask mandate are saying their kids should have the choice.  

“I appreciate the fact that kids are wearing masks, and that students are complying with the mandate,” says Ms. Workman.

“I really just don’t like the masks, it’s very annoying wearing them.  It is hard to hear people when they are talking.  Sometimes it is hard to breathe,”  Brianna Rygiel, seventh grader, says.