‘Nobody needs to be yelled at’; Students reportedly harassed by teachers for masks being below their noses

A Highland Park High School student is raising an alarm about administrator and teacher behavior as it relates to addressing students who are not wearing masks at school.

The student, a sophomore who has requested anonymity, had been attending school online until recently.

“The first day back, I was walking down the hall early and a kid was walking through the hall without a mask. Nobody in the halls, walking to the cafeteria. And a lady comes out of nowhere and grabs him and screams at him to put a mask on. I was around the corner when this happened, so I decided to check, and the kid was bawling, crying. I don’t know if he was special needs or was just a normal kid crying because a teacher was cruel to a student,” he said. “I love my school, but some other faculty people need to be reminded that school shouldn’t be a place we’re people get yelled at and grabbed by people they should look up to.”

He went on to say that there’s often a security guard or police officer in the student entrance who makes sure kids have masks, and that security guards offer masks to those who don’t have them. But in several of his own classes, he says teachers take the masks off as soon as they start teaching.

“The fact that they are getting on our tails about not wearing a mask and right when they get into their classes, they just take them off is kind of disappointing on their part,” he said.

On March 2, Gov. Greg Abbott said that schools should take their lead on mask policies from the Texas Education Agency after he dropped the statewide mask mandate. TEA updated its guidelines to allow districts to modify mask requirements as they saw fit, after a previous recommendation that school districts continue the mask mandates on campuses, based on the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control.

In a March 2 update, the Highland Park ISD announced it was aware of Abbott’s rescinding the mask mandate, but said that the district would continue it.

The student who is speaking out said that he was handed a mask when he arrived without one.

“If my message could be anything it would be nobody needs to be yelled and escorted out of a school over a mask not being over your nose,” he said.

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