Following newly released guidelines by the state of California and the LA County Department of Public Health, the William S. Hart District announced that masking will be optional indoors and outdoors effective Mar. 12. Superintendent Mike Kuhlman posted an update to families across the district citing a decline in Omicron cases, deaths, and hospitalizations and the district’s new change that will no longer require masking for students or staff regardless of their vaccination status.
Leading up to this, the Hart District made a few updates regarding their stance on masking and COVID-19 throughout February and March. The Hart District decided to follow Los Angeles County and make outdoor masking optional, with indoor masking still being required, effective Feb. 16. The Hart District also announced that they would no longer send daily COVID-19 symptom/exposure emails for both faculty and students, effective Feb. 22. This is the next step in their timeline.
Although the district has decided to lift the mask mandate, Academy of the Canyons junior Xander Rhee has expressed that he would still like to keep his mask on.
“Even though many others may keep their masks, I still want to play it safe because you never know what may happen especially since many people have also gotten sick recently,” Rhee said.
He also went on to state how his “choice was a personal one” and that he “needed time to readjust to stop wearing a mask, and that it’ll be a gradual process.”
After a week since the implementation of the policy, campus supervisor Roy Loper stated that AOC will follow district guidelines.
“The policy was all good because everyone had their choice as there was no judgment or prejudice against those who chose to keep their mask on or take it off,” Loper said.
He expects that more and more people will stop wearing masks if they see people like their friends doing so.
“Obviously, it’s about choice, whether you are comfortable wearing a mask or not, it’s all about your individual choice and there should not be extra judgment for someone’s personal choice,” Loper said.