Flipboard EDU Podcast Episode 39: Masks Off… Or On?

William Jeffery / March 8, 2021

On March 2, 2021, Texas Governor Gregory Abbott and Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves decided to waive mask requirements for their respective states. Face masks had become our “new normal” in the COVID-19 pandemic since they were required to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Moreover, public health experts say masks are key in ensuring schools are safe for students and staff.

Governor Abbott’s plan to waive mask requirements was shared with all stakeholders simultaneously as a newscast, without a mention of a strategy for the safe return of students and teachers, or guidance for transportation, extracurricular competitions and special events such as proms and graduations that happen in the spring. 

There are proponents and opponents on each side of this issue. I personally will celebrate the day I can see the faces of all the kids at my school. On the other hand, I am willing to wait until we reach a higher vaccination rate than the current (7 percent of Texas’ population). What adds to my concern is a study that was just released, which shows that Houston has all four variant strains of the virus. Since Houston is the largest city in the state and the fourth in the United States, some educators feel apprehensive about how this decision will affect the community. 

In this episode, I share the mic with fellow educators to explore the pros and cons of decision-making from an educational standpoint. We cover the impact of the decision on students and teachers and talk about the push to fully open up as the fourth largest city in the nation grapples with four virulent strains of the coronavirus. 

—William Jeffery is curating Flipboard EDU Podcast

Coach Jeffery” is an award-winning digital learning educator and assistant principal at Columbia High School in Texas. His tech pedagogy continues to drive him to curate educational content on Flipboard that highlights teaching strategies, edtech, and ways to improve student success. He hosts the “Flipboard EDU Podcast” as yet another way to share resources with his peers.