Back to School at Lamar
After a long year and a half of online learning, the Lamar Texans are finally back at school.
For some people, getting back to school and a normal routine has been an easy adjustment, but for many others, it has been more of a challenge.
“Coming back to school was really a different experience. I had been doing online for such a long time that I still felt like I was in eighth grade,” said Elise Barnette, a sophomore this year.
There is a consensus that everyone is glad to be back at school despite whatever challenges school presents.
“I am so happy to be back to some type of normalcy and have a real high school experience,” said sophomore Bailey Perry, a cheerleader for Lamar.
A topic that frequently came up in interviews was the issue of masks. Mask wearing has been a contentious debate since the beginning of Covid, and it still is. Mar. 10, 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott lifted the mask mandate and made it very difficult to enforce the use of masks.
Lamar High School, one of the largest schools in HISD, has mandated students to wear masks on campus following HISD’s challenge to the Governor’s executive orders. Many of the students oppose the notion of wearing a mask as they believe it should be a personal choice whether they wear a mask or not.
“Because the mask covers half the face, I don’t know what anyone looks like,” said a source that has asked to remain anonymous.
Not seeing people’s faces does make it harder to make friends, especially for so many of us that are new.
As much contention as there is over masks, many students agree that wearing a mask is the safest way for them to attend school and feel comfortable.
“With being in a huge school and a new environment, wearing a mask helps me feel more safe and secure,” said Zoe McClendon, a sophomore on the Lamar Dance Theater team.
Protecting those that are more vulnerable is a top priority for many of the students. There is a common understanding that wearing a mask is fair to everyone.
“I definitely don’t like wearing a mask, but I understand the importance of them, so I wear mine. I don’t want to be selfish and put others at risk by not wearing a mask,” said Janie Tsigos, a current Lamar student.
Until we are all vaccinated, unfortunately masks will be a way of life, and despite the grievances masks may present, this is the only way for us all to receive an education and experience high school together, in person.
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