Fray: Let’s mask up in Arizona schools to keep us safe from COVID-19

Posted 9/10/21

I am an eighth-grader at Ira Murphy Elementary and I believe masks should be required in schools. When I got to my first math class this year, I felt anxious and unsafe. No one was social distancing. There were 32 kids in the classroom and seven were wearing masks. I sat next to two kids, two feet away, and both were unmasked. No one even cared.

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Fray: Let’s mask up in Arizona schools to keep us safe from COVID-19


I am worried for myself, but even more for my little sister. She is nine. Children under 12 are too young to be vaccinated. If my sister gets COVID, she would be exposing her friends and their families. The CDC, the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recommend masking in schools.

The University of Alabama found that masking can reduce exposure risk by 68%. A study of schools in North Carolina found that when proper masking was used, less than 1% of people quarantined caught COVID.

The Maricopa County COVID Dashboard says that PUSD has a high transmission rate. Our school district is averaging over 200 cases per week. We are becoming a dumpster fire for COVID cases!

I want to stay in school. I want to keep learning. I would rather be in the classroom where I can ask my teacher questions and get help. But we need to work together. If we don’t do our part now, we may have even worse COVID variants in the future.

We are failing to stop the spread of COVID. Even worse, no one is trying anymore.

Masks are annoying, but distance learning is worse. Please mask up and help keep students in the classroom.


Editor’s note: Ms. Fray read this statement at a recent school board meeting in Peoria.