Masks up, cases down. It’s that simple.

Of course we support the right to protest, but make educated decisions and take the right form of action when needed.

Last week, about 100 community members congregated on the sidewalk in front of the school to protest the new mask mandate. Due to the concerning amount of positive cases in not only the school district, but the town in general, the school board decided at the Nov. 9 school board meeting to put our school into a universal mask mandate, with the end date yet to be determined. 

This policy was put in place by the school board to coincide with what the NH State Department of Health Safety deemed a substantial spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

The reasoning behind this decision was stated in an email Superintendent Scott Laliberte sent to families in the district on Nov. 11:

“The primary statistic that will be used to determine the use of universal masking will be the ‘Substantial Community Spread’ in the town of Londonderry, as indicated on the State Department of Public Health dashboard,” Laliberte said. “At present, that spread is in the ‘substantial’ range, which results in universal masking throughout the district.”

However, some people throughout town are less than pleased with the idea of the district requiring masks in the school buildings, as made clear by comments made during recent school board meetings. While this disruptive behavior is not anything new, we should not begin to normalize it.

These townsfolk say they are protesting masks for their children’s safety and to preserve the human right to choose what they do with their own body. But are they really protecting their children? 

Masks have been proven to help diminish the spread of COVID-19. We know that there may be breakthrough cases in certain situations, but wearing a mask helps protect not only those wearing it, but the others around them who are too stubborn to wear one. 

Most students, at least at the high school, have been able to abide by the mandate with little to no issue. Again, for the most part. Of course there are students who refuse to have their masks over their noses, and there were students who left class to protest with the others on the sidewalk, but it is apparent that adults are the ones with the most to complain about.

Are these students truly affected by the masks, or are their parents just projecting their own opinions onto their children? Are the children the ones throwing temper tantrums? And even if they are, are they just following in their parents’ footsteps?

This behavior has been humored for too long at this point. And although it provides endless entertainment for those of us watching, this behavior should not be tolerated any more in the school district setting. The school board will be watching the State Department of Public Health’s dashboard to make their decision to lift the mask mandate based on those statistics. 

The school board and district administration are just following the recommendations provided to them. These decisions aren’t just being made without being backed up by reasonable evidence. 

We are not saying you cannot protest, you absolutely have the right to, but at least do your research and confront the correct organization.

So Londonderry townspeople, go ahead and protest the mask mandate. (Even though it was put in place by a group of people trying to keep your children safe and healthy.)

It’s your right. 

But next time, take your protest to the State Department of Health. Not to Mammoth Road.