Plexiglass Problems…Again.

Jackie Collver, Writer

Here we are again, in the classrooms of Helena High School.  


Students are no longer confronted with the dreaded plexiglass glare when looking at projector screens! Students can sit in desks without constantly kicking the plastic in front of them! Students and teachers alike can hear each other again! 


Were you surprised that the plexiglass was gone so soon?  


In case you missed the memo, the plexiglass dividers installed in many classrooms to help stop the spread of Covid were upsetting many students. Some felt trapped by the plexiglass, and others felt that it didn’t do anything to stop the spread of Covid when masks are already required inside the school. 


It turns out that these students across HHS predicted the future – of plexiglass, at least, because the CDC confirmed the plexiglass does virtually nothing.  


The school got the plexiglass through a nationally funded tax-dollar bond in order to keep in-person students as safe from covid as possible. The problem with that, though, is that the CDC has suggested, “removed recommendation for physical barriers.”  


So, beloved audience, I ask you: what the heck? 


Schools all over the nation accepted these tax dollars in order to put in place barriers that, essentially, do nothing. Of course, these grants weren’t 100% for plexiglass specifically – some of the money went to technology and other resources.  


But whatever the money is being used for, it’s coming from tax dollars – tax dollars that future generations will be paying off forever.  


Tax dollars that have now been spent on plastic shields in corners of classrooms.  


Of course, none of this is the school’s fault. After all, HHS – and schools around the country – were following CDC’s guidelines at the time. Vital information about the plexiglass’ effectiveness was missing – information that would have been good to know before schools used tax money to put up the plastic barriers, only to be told not even a month later that the barriers were no longer needed or even recommended.  


Where did the common sense go?

Why weren’t people questioning from the very beginning the plexiglass’ effectiveness or purpose in the first place? Plexiglass does the same thing as masks do: block aerosols. Why were they even suggested by the CDC in the first place? Again, vital information was missing for the CDC, who recommended faulty technologies (if plexiglass is considered a technology?).