LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — After almost a full week into the mask mandate being lifted at many area schools, some kids have been happy to ditch their masks while others say it’s been a big adjustment.
At A.E. Wright Middle School in Calabasas, many students were happy to remove their face masks.
“I wore it the first day back just because I wasn’t sure if people would wear it or not,” said one student.
According to the principal, about a third of students are still wearing their masks.
Student Zoey Winkleman says she kept hers on to stay COVID-free.
“I’m also not a very confident person, I’m a little insecure about my face so I’d rather keep it on for now,” she said.
At Las Virgenes Unified School District, which lifted its indoor mask mandate this week,
That’s a sentiment teacher Hayley Tepper said is not unique.
“Especially in middle school, I think students are very self-conscious at this age in particular. I’ve heard students say… ‘I am wearing my mask today only because I have a huge zit.’”
Experts say rapid changes for kids are always hard.
“It’s been a lifestyle change for them to adopt a new way of socializing and being a student in class with a mask. So now we’re seeing more hesitation, more anxiety, more overwhelming instances where our kids are wanting to know is it OK for me to do this now?” said Loma Linda University Clinical Therapist Kaitlyn McLaughlin.
Easing into it may help kids who have anxiety about removing their masks as it can be traumatic to ditch them entirely overnight.
“It was almost a piece of comfort that maybe some of our kids relied on,” McLaughlin said.
The superintendent said he hasn’t had any reports of bullying between students over the choice to wear – or not to wear – a mask.