Students question school board Covid policy


Haley Shock, Reporter

The past 19 months have changed the world in many ways, globally, and locally, new rules have been enforced, abandoned, and then re-enforced. Schools are no exception.

After finishing the 2019-2020 school year completely virtual, and with no clear end of Covid in sight, schools began to plan how they would go about school with these new terms and restrictions set by the state. 

According to the NAFC Corporation website, all schools would offer two options at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year: traditional school or a new virtual learning experience. If students chose to attend school in-person, all would be required to remain six feet apart as well as wear masks at all times. 



Mask requirements have been challenged by many people since the idea was introduced. Students like senior Austin Miller think wearing masks is beneficial in slowing down the spread of Covid in schools. 

When the mask mandate was required I agreed with it, but I do not think we should keep going back and forth with masks and no masks,” Miller said. “It’s pointless and anticlimactic.”

The NAFC School Board follows a color-coded system based on state recommendations. Blue is the most lenient with optional masks and limited social-distancing, and red is the most strict with mandated masks and required distancing, there is also a yellow and an orange section.

At the start of the 2021-22 school year, masks were only recommended for students and staff, then, August 8, the district announced it was in the yellow zone, which was followed by orange zone in late August, and then changed back to yellow again in late October. 

Miller says there is a correlation between the change in policy in schools, and the amount of students who must be quarantined because of exposure.

“Eventually everything comes to an end, but if you’ve noticed when our Covid cases at NAFCS rise it’s due to no masks,” Miller said. “It comes and goes as waves, but it will be a really long process if this keeps up.”

According to the graph to the left, which is based on information collected from the NAFC school board website, Covid cases at NAHS reached its peak at 25 reported exposures in the second week of school. Right after this, Floyd County went into orange status, masks were enforced in school, and exposures dropped to only seven the following week. 

Miller says masks should be required for all.

“They simply should just be required, it is not going to get better by not wearing masks.” Miller said. 

While Miller thinks the back-and-forth requirements set by the School Board isn’t helping the Covid situation at NA  HS, he also says that students need to try to help the situation.

“I do opt to wear mine, because I believe that if people really want Covid to slow down and stop, so they can have their ‘fun senior year’ they would wear the tiny little fabric.” Miller said.

Although masks are able to be required in schools, the Covid vaccine is not, and many students aren’t sure if it should ever be. Sophomore Stella Klaus is one of them. 

“At least for right now I don’t think [the vaccine] should be required because some people’s parents don’t let them get it, I’ve heard.” Klaus said.

Klaus both agrees and disagrees with parts of the Covid policy. 

“I agree with people having to get quarantined if they’re not vaccinated, even if they’re wearing a mask.” Klaus said. “I feel like masks if you’re not vaccinated should be required.”



Miller says that some students just aren’t allowed to get the vaccine, whether they want to or not.

“Everyone has their rights in order to be vaccinated or not, and some kids such as myself, are not allowed to get the vaccine,” Miller said. “But with that said, schools require many other shots to be in school, so why is this one such a controversial topic? I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea [to require the Covid vaccine in schools].”

During the 2020-2021 school year, schools switched from offering an in-person option to being all virtual many times. Klaus says that virtual school had a negative impact on many students and doesn’t want that type of learning to come back this school year.

“I don’t think we should go back to online school because I don’t think it was very good for most people,” Klaus said.

Miller also says virtual schooling has a negative impact on many kids, but doesn’t think schools will have to go back to it.

“I do think we’ve learned enough about Covid and how to handle it to stay in school and not have to worry about an online version, but this being sent home because of close contact can easily put kids behind since there is no zoom meeting option anymore,” Miller said.

Both students however, believe that masks should be required for all- especially unvaccinated people- and that the overall goal of the School Board should be to get schools as Covid-free as possible.


The School Board has not indicated intentions to change the policy in place. No clear intentions to require vaccines or go back into virtual learning have been reported.