Mead parents and students gather to protest mask mandates

MEAD, Wash. — School districts in Washington have no choice – the governor says all kids and staff will wear masks this fall. That state mandate isn’t stopping parents and other groups from protesting outside school board meetings.

There were a lot of mentions of freedom and conspiracy theories surrounding mask-wearing and the COVID-19 vaccine Monday night inside Mead High School. Even before the start of the school board meeting, dozens of parents and children met outside the school to organize and make a statement to the board. Most of the board members share the same sympathy as those protesting but realize it is a delicate situation.

“We have to build bridges and we have to build relationships with the policymakers so that they will take us seriously,” said school board member Carmen Green.

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Parents and guardians shared their thoughts about the mask mandate, too.

“Our children do not need a politically charged agenda. Frankly, as a parent I am absolutely exhausted from co-parenting with Jay Inslee and Chris Reykdal,” said one woman.

“It’s about control and it’s about freedom, so you got to think about that,” added another parent.

Now, it’s up to the school board to decide whether they will comply or disobey the mandate, risking school funding.

The school district is working with attorneys regarding what legal actions they can take regarding the mandates, but even they admit the local health officials have the authority to make mandate decisions.

The first day of school is scheduled for September 7.