I’m not sure why children wearing masks at school has become such a hot-button issue.
Though isn’t anything related to children a hit-button issue? Look at the culture wars and you’ll see, threaded throughout like some terrible, darkly glittering leitmotif, concerns about corruption. And they usually drift away. Remember when schools stopped including prayer? Remember when schools stopped including the Pledge of Allegiance?
Now some parents are up in arms that schoolchildren may be asked to wear something they don’t want to. Like an ID badge. Like a uniform. Except this is new, and Americans somewhere along the way decided they hate new. All that time on the $20 wasn’t enough for Andrew Jackson; how dare anyone want Harriet Tubman on it?
The thing about masks that no one arguing against them can explain away is that… it’s simply dress code. Students across the country have, for years, adhered to guidelines about what is allowed to wear to school. My own high school career was marked by khaki pants, collared shirts, and no open-toed shoes. What’s adding a mask for public health–related reasons?
But Americans like to celebrate our independence by refusing to listen when others make demands on us that we disagree with, despite the greater good. Hopefully, reason prevails (as it so often does) and we move on to the next political hot potato soon. Maybe next it will be paying for school lunches even though students are legally required to attend every day!
The Gay Goods is dedicated to engaging with a range of opinions and viewpoints. To share yours, email firstname.lastname@example.org.