A licensed psychologist voiced concerns about possible long-term side effects of children being forced to wear masks in schools, including the possible long-term effects to their mental health.

Dr. Sheri Tomak, PsyD, a psychologist who lives in Prosper, Texas, said she has “significant concerns about the adverse emotional consequences of such measures that are not supported by objective data.”

“Speaking as both a mom and a psychologist, the continued use of masks … does not appear warranted and is more of a detriment to our children,” Tomak told Texas Scorecard.

Social interaction is such an important part of development, and by covering our children’s and teachers’ faces, so much of the communication process and social cues are lost.

“They are missing out on the simple things, like experiencing a friend’s warm smile to brighten their day or being able to notice the sadness of a friend in need. Limiting social expression also adversely impacts the developing identity, which can lead to other psychological conditions, such as depression and anxiety,” Tomak added.

When asked if there could be increased long-term effects of wearing a mask, even in mentally healthy children, she stated, “I believe there could be long-term negative effects, specifically potential deficits in socialization and identity development.”

When Texas Scorecard asked if Tomak wanted her children to wear a mask to school, she replied, “Absolutely not.”

Tera Collum

Tera Collum has 13 years experience as a government and economics teacher in Texas public schools. She recently was the director of The Travis Institute of Educational Policy and Teachers for Texas.


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