PROF. GIORDANO: How authoritarian officials are harming my family, destroying my profession

I have directly witnessed the deleterious effect masking has had in the classroom and how it inhibited learning. When mask mandates were in place, the classrooms were lifeless.

Nicholas Giordano is a professor of Political Science, the host of The P.A.S. Report Podcast, and a fellow at Campus Reform’s Higher Education Fellowship. With 2 decades of teaching experience and over a decade of experience in the emergency management/homeland security arena, Professor Giordano is regularly called on to speak about issues related to government, politics, and international relations.


With an increase in flu and RSV cases, the authoritarians are at it again as some are calling for a return to the dreaded mask mandate and potential school closures. Have these people learned nothing? Have they no shame regarding all the damage they inflicted on the populace, especially children? I will not sit idly by as public officials continue to push their edicts that harm my family and destroy my profession.

As a parent, my main role is to protect my children. I grew extremely frustrated watching what they endured during the lockdowns and remote learning. When they finally returned to in-person learning, they were forced to wear ineffective masks for 6 to 8 hours a day. One of my children suffers from severe allergies, and the other had speech development issues, but getting any type of exemption was futile. 

Like millions of Americans, my wife and I witnessed the damaging effects on our children. We wrote letters, sent emails, attended protests, and contacted elected officials. We sent over a dozen peer-reviewed studies on the ineffectiveness of cloth and surgical masks for aerosolized viruses. These studies were conducted pre-coronavirus and throughout the pandemic. Not a single official had the decency or courage to respond. 

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As someone who developed pandemic plans during my emergency management days, masking was discussed in a variety of planning meetings, and all stakeholders agreed that universal masking was a fool’s errand, but during the pandemic, overzealous public health officials instituted these mandates anyway. 

When it comes to my profession, I have directly witnessed the deleterious effect masking has had in the classroom and how it inhibited learning. When we finally returned to in-person learning and universal mask mandates were in place, the classrooms were lifeless

Fostering discussions was nearly impossible, and even when a student tried to participate, it was difficult to hear and understand what they were saying. As I was teaching, I would notice sudden onsets of shortness of breath, something I never experienced in my 17 years of teaching prior to the masking.

Once the mask mandates ended, the classroom environment improved somewhat. The barrier was removed, and the students began to reengage and participate in lively classroom discussions. Emotion returned to the class and the campus. While there has been some improvement, significant damage was levied on an entire generation, and it will take years to undo the harm caused by these dictatorial decrees.

COVID policies contributed to the drop in proficiency levels and significantly widened the academic achievement gap. They also created a mental health crisis involving a dramatic increase in anxiety, depression, and suicide attempts. 

[RELATED: REPORT: Universities compounded the student mental health crisis during the pandemic]

As cases of the flu and RSV rise, the chatter surrounding mask mandates grows louder even though we have never called for masks for these viruses in the past. The authoritarians do not care about the people. They ignore the Constitution. They bypass legislative bodies. They disregard the science. 

Masks are unhealthy and unsanitary. They impact our overall health, and they inhibit our ability to learn and focus. Even worse, it is mostly for show. I will never subject my children to masking in school again. 

As a tax-paying citizen of New York, I should not have to choose between my career and my family. I should not be put in the position of having to contemplate pulling my children out of school. I should not have to consider relocating to another state that understands the basic concepts of science and liberty. Unfortunately, because of the power-hungry officials, I, and millions of other New Yorkers, are in this exact position.

For those concerned about their public health, wear the N95 mask and leave me and my children alone.


Editorials and op-eds reflect the opinion of the authors and not necessarily that of Campus Reform or the Leadership Institute.