At the ‘Take Back Our Schools’ rally, parents hope to make a change

SPANGLE, Wash. — Local parents held a “Take Back Our Schools” rally on Thursday, demanding more control of what happens at their children’s schools.

One of the main messages at the rally, held at Liberty High school, was to not rely on Olympia to make decisions for them.

After hearing ‘our hands are tied’ one too many times, several frustrated parents are trying to make a change.

“At some point, I think we had to figure out, if you’re hands are tied where can we or how do we untie them and how did I as a parent lose my right to decide what’s the best thing for my child,” said Steven Brawn, parent to three students who attend Liberty High School.

From topics like the mask mandate, to sex education, to critical race theory, the parents organizing the effort feel like they lost control, especially when it came to what Gov. Jay Inslee decides.

“Help us to support our board, help us to support our superintendents who I genuinely feel, want what’s best for our kids but like I said, their hands are tied so we’re trying to help them to bring the power back to them rather than in Olympia,” said Shari Bartels.

While they have the option to opt out in some aspects like sex education, they say it’s not enough.

“That statement implies that there will be no conversations on the playground, on the school bus, on the locker room and that is simply inaccurate, and that’s the part that we’re looking at,” said Trisha Brash.

Representative Joe Schmick (R-Colfax), Rep. Mary Dye (R-Pomeroy), and Washington state Sen. Mark Schoesler all spoke at the rally. Rep. Schmick along with 24 other Republicans,  wrote a letter to Inslee regarding the mask mandate – saying the one size fits all model just doesn’t work here.

“We’re back to this issue – the local health department, school board, and parents should be making this decision, based on the risk they’re willing to take,” Rep. Schmick said.

They hope parents at the rally can feel like they’re not alone. Their hope is to break into micro-groups that tackle different aspects of the issue.

RELATED: State Republicans call on Inslee to reconsider school mask requirement