Haines students still masked, even though Covid case count is zero for past 14 days

Haines, Alaska

The Haines School District in Haines is still mandating masks universally for students, staff, and visitors in the schools. This, in spite of the fact that there have only been 16 documented cases of Covid-19 in the small Southeast community.

The district also has other robust protocols, such as what some see as extreme testing of athletes, and quarantine rules in a community that has a had no confirmed cases in the past 14 days.

Haines is a community that is tightly knit and children play at each other’s homes routinely — without masks. But once they get to school, the masking rules apply, as they have since August.

The school’s travel mandate guidelines for students and staff are also draconian. After they have traveled, the school guidelines require unvaccinated students and staff to receive two negative Covid test before returning to school, and those who are unvaccinated or who refuse to test must stay home symptom free for at 10 days.:

“All staff and students who travel out of Alaska or in state to an identified high-alert area need to have a negative COVID test result from a test done within 72 hours prior to returning or upon arrival in Alaska; AND

  • Fully vaccinated staff and students may return to school immediately with a negative test if they are symptom free. 
  • Unvaccinated staff and students may return to school on day 5 with a second negative test performed on or after that day as long as they are symptom free. 


  • Staff or students who choose not to follow the testing protocol may return to school on day 11 after entering Alaska as long as they remain symptom free.”

“These definitely are not State of Alaska guidelines and are extremely discriminatory since both vaccinated and unvaccinated indicate proven to catch and spread the virus,” one parent noted to Must Read Alaska.

Many Haines parents have protested the mandates, writing letters, sending in petitions, and demanding parental choice, as they have in Anchorage — to no avail. The majority of the Haines school board members and Superintendent Roy Getchell have been unbending on the mask mandate for children.

Haines is a town of 1,863 residents and the school district has about 275 students. While the community government trends liberal, the population is somewhat more conservative. In the 2020 election, 40% of Haines Borough voters voted for Biden and 55% voted for Trump; 3% voted for Jesse Ventura, who was the Alaska Green Party’s choice for president.

The school board meets at 7 pm Dec. 7; the mask mandates are on the agenda. Links to the Zoom telephonic meeting are at this link.

The Haines School District Covid-19 “Operational Guidelines” are at this link.


  1. School boards don’t give a damn what the peasants think. After all, THEY are educated. Local villagers don’t know what’s good for them.

  2. It is not about health. It is about creating a generation of compliance.

    Something in common I find when speaking to people who wear masks. Shortness of breath. That is not healthy.

    • “It is not about health. It is about creating a generation of compliance”.
      Although I would not say a generation of compliance, as much as a culture of compliance.
      And kids are the easiest targets in that regard, as they are the ones least likely, and least able, to rebel against capricious (and officious) authority.

  3. Unmask our children!!

    School board members and superintendents who refuse to listen and put the children’s education and safety back in the hands of parents need to be replaced. Thankful for the parents who are joining the school boards to make a positive difference!

  4. Eventually, on this Pearl Harbor Day, even the United States government let the Japanese Americans out of their prison camps. So too will the school districts release their holds on the throats and faces of American children.

  5. Unmask our kids! Thank you to the parents who step up and run for school board to fight these mandates and promote parental choice. As for the rest of the school board members and superintendents across the country, if the refuse to listen to the parents, they need to be replaced!

    • It’s easy… pull your kids out of school and home school them in any number of on line education programs. Wake up people! The schools don’t own your kids!

  6. That’s only because parents haven’t figured out how to say -and do- “no”.
    Small community like Haines unites around “no”, school district parasites’ll have to go along because they live there too.
    Makes one wonder if this crap reflects the quality of what’s taught in Haines School District, if parents might be better off tearing down the whole school district racket and starting over.

    • You think the Haines school system is lacking in quality because they managed to stay open during a pandemic using health protocols that educated people came up with?

      • Haines school system lacks quality because of its mask fetish.
        Everyone wears obedience masks at school; no one wears ’em in homes.
        Anyone can smell his neighbor’s flattulence through his obedience mask which says something about obedience mask effectiveness.
        Cold winter day, one can see one’s breath oozing through one’s obedience mask which says something about obedience mask effectiveness.
        Good news is educated people gave us a really cool word to use on each other to assure mass obedience: “protocols”… we say “protocols”, magical things happen, no one dies of anything.
        All of it made possible by “educated people”, no?
        The “educated people” who brought us GOD (Government Operated Daycare) in lieu of classical education are now children’s health experts?

          • Yeah, when I’m working alongside a surgeon in an operating room, I would expect all to wear the proper masks to maintain a sterile field they’re standing over. Aerosol droplet precautions is indicated in that specific environment. Doesn’t work in preventing transmission of microscopic viruses, though. But, hey, if YOU feel it protects YOU then go right ahead, YFM.

  7. This strange, one-sided account is misinformed, at best. As a Haines parent I’m thankful for the careful policies of the Haines administration and school board, and thankful my kids have been able to attend school in person for the past two years (besides the last weeks of the 2020 school em year when all of Alaska’s students were home). In fact, Haines was one of very few districts that never closed last school year. A few extremists are whipping up a frenzy locally, but the vast majority of us are happy with the way our school is looking out for students and the community.

      • John, you know damned well that ALL the scientific evidence points to public mask wearing as ineffective and quite possibly detrimental and counterproductive.
        Again, I will tell you what I told you in another thread here: one does not need a PhD to recognize an authoritarian political agenda masquerading as (putative) public health measures.

        • Jefferson, if mask wearing was ineffective, then places like Florida wouldn’t have the worst COVID numbers on the planet.

          Masks work. Ask any surgeon. See if they think wearing a mask for 12 hours, to reduce spread of contagions to their patients, is counterproductive and “possibly detrimental”. They won’t give you the time of day, because that question alone is stupid.

          You need a PHD to understand much of what you attempt to discuss. It’s why you’re always wrong. And while in your world being wrong doesn’t matter, in the professional world it actually does. Having an education is meaningless where you are. But for those of us who work for a living, and are expected to produce, it is critical.

  8. It saddens me to see the philosophy of hate and judgment in these comments. Seems to me that Haines is a success story. The irony of bashing safety protocols while highlighting low COVID numbers would be humorous if not for the undertones of selfish vitriol. Great job school board and Superintendent Gecthell. I too look forward to the end of mask wearing but for now it seems to be working and keeping our schools open.

    • And I am saddened, AHP, by the mass psychosis, blind conformity, irrational hysteria and panic, and unthinking groupthink of the Covidian Cultists, who have raised corporate media-pumped hypochondria to the status of a religion.

  9. The entirety of the US Constitution applies completely. Those who don’t know this are harmful people among us and we should follow US Constitution precepts at all times in the United States.

  10. We are now heading into the weekend of Dec.10th , with many people coming from out of town to attend the funerals of two Tlingit elders who passed this week of natural causes. Everyone from out of town coming on the ferry and driving and flying in will be tested before they attend ceremonies in Klukwan ” the mother village”. Everyone will be required to wear a mask. YES, we have protocols in Haines, we have knowledge, we have integrity, we have very educated people from all walks of life, lawyers, doctors, teachers, scientists, natives and trades people of all sorts. Please do not condemn , nor judge what we do. But stop to think what you could do to aid and assist your fellow man, and your family in your community, while we all try to get through this pandemic. That would help us all.

Comments are closed.