Masks No Longer Required at BMU

Cooper Mardin and Mathew White

On March 3rd, 2022, Superintendent Emily Knisely sent out an email to all OESU staff and families. In this email, Ms. Knisely stated, “In speaking with all of the principals this evening, as well as the OESU Board Chair, we feel comfortable making the shift to optional masking on Monday the 7th.” 

Governor Phil Scott recommended the 14th for dropping the mask mandate in schools, but Knisely felt that “there is no scientific basis for waiting until that point–it was simply to give us time to shift.”  She further stated, “Our COVID team, along with principals and school nurses, will work together on the other COVID mitigation measures for the March 14th date. Once we lift the mask requirement, no one can require the wearing of masks inside the school building. Mask wearing becomes optional on Monday, March 7th.”

The BNN team interviewed several high school students regarding how they felt about the new masking options for school.  According to freshman Lizzy Woods, “I have a four year old sister at home who can’t get vaccinated and I don’t want to bring it to her. Without the masks, Covid cases might go up.”  Senior Coco Huang said, “I think it’s good that people are given a choice on whether or not they want to wear a mask. I personally will continue wearing one, but that is only my personal choice.” Junior Evan Dennis stated,  “I feel like life is finally going back to normal and it feels great.”  Luke Peters, a sophomore responded: “I think making the masks optional was a good idea because some people didn’t wear them [outside of school] even when it was mandated but now if the student wants to wear one, or has been in contact [they] can wear one if they choose to. I also think that people in the school now either had Covid or have been vaccinated, so people are less apt to get it or get sick.”

In the middle school, 7th grader Danny Gelsleichter said, “I am really happy that we don’t have to wear masks anymore.”  Addison Murray, an 8th grader had this to say: “I think that people should be able to choose if they wear a mask or not, but personally I am very happy we don’t need to wear masks anymore.”