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@kkemii/TikTok @heyhannah/TikTok dassany_0920/TikTok

TikTok videos show classrooms full of unmasked students

'Back to school' hits different during the pandemic.


Colleen Hagerty


Posted on Aug 6, 2020   Updated on Aug 14, 2020, 4:30 pm CDT

For months, politicians, teachers, and parents have clashed over what to do about the new school year due to coronavirus concerns. In the meantime, schools have already started reopening, and students are turning to TikTok to show their “new normal. “For some, it seems pretty terrifying.

“When youre [sic] the only one wearing a mask in your class,” @kkemii subtitled a video of her experience being back in school on Tuesday. It starts on her face–showing her mask–before panning around to prove her point.

“I hate it here,” she added in the caption.

The video received thousands of replies, many expressing disbelief.

“Masks aren’t mandatory & the desks aren’t 6ft apart???? omg do they not care abt yall,” wrote one commenter.

“‘GET OUT'” encouraged another.

Another student, @heyhannah, expressed solidarity and shared her similar experience. Her TikTok chronicles her first day back, from waking up and driving over to gathering in the gym and discovering almost none of her classmates were wearing masks.

“Can someone tell me why the fuck I was one of a handful of students that were wearing a fucking mask,” she says at the end.

@heyhannah’s video has more than two million views and 7,000 responses, including a number from students sharing their schools’ plans.

“My school isn’t making them [masks] mandatory as if we didn’t have 272828 new covid cases last week,” commiserated one commenter.

“I’m thankful that i’m doing all online school,” added another.

But students participating in online school have expressed their frustration on TikTok, too.

“Can I graduate already?” wrote @dassany_0920 alongside her TikTok of her first day of senior year, which seemingly consisted of a slate of Zoom calls.

There’s a number of other TikToks showing teens expressing disappointment at virtual classes, hinting at a trend that will likely become more common as the rest of states start their new school years. Many of the country’s largest districts are implementing online learning, at least temporarily, as the U.S. continues to struggle with outbreaks of coronavirus.

Given that students don’t seem inclined to mask up, it might still be the best worst solution.


h/t @HaleighHoffman

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*First Published: Aug 6, 2020, 7:00 am CDT