Homecoming parade, no masks marks return to life before pandemic for Gautier students
GAUTIER, Miss. (WLOX) - More traditions are returning thanks to Mississippi’s rising vaccination rate and falling case count. Cheers rang out at the Gautier High School Homecoming parade Wednesday as families lined the streets catching throws for the first time in two years.
Riding in the parade was Singing River Academy sixth grade student, Hope Crosslin, who said the parade brought her back to a time before the pandemic.
“For a second, I kind of just forgot about everything going on, like COVID-19 and everything,” said Crosslin. “It’s kind of like we went back to a couple of years ago.”
For Gautier High students, the homecoming parade is a return to normalcy along with the district’s new policy that masks are now optional. Eleventh-grade student Dominic Smith said the new policy was a pleasant surprise.
“I came to school with my mask on and then I saw the teachers in the hallway with no mask on, and I was like what’s going on,” said Smith. “I asked the teacher if we had to wear a mask, they said no, and so I just took my mask off as soon as possible.”
For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, Lake Elementary third grade teacher Faith Crosslin says teachers will once again get to see the smiles on students’ faces.
“As a teacher, it really made things super great for me to be able to finally see their faces after two years,” said Faith Crosslin. “There’s some students that I wasn’t able to see their smile and it’s just great to be able to see the expressions on their faces.”
A choice that Faith Crosslin said she is happy to now see in the hands of parents, students, and teachers.
“I’m glad that they made that a choice and I did have some students that still chose the mask,” said Faith Crosslin. “We respect that opinion, that option, and I would say my class was split probably 50/50.”
Gautier High school will take on Vancleave in the Gators homecoming game this Friday.
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