Parents statewide participate in rally against the mask mandate in schools

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — Over a hundred rallies are happening statewide Wednesday calling officials to reverse the decision of the schoolwide mask mandate.

Parents, grandparents and kids, armed with signs gathered outside the Central Valley School District building with the hope to overturn the decision in Olympia.

“Even Oregon allowed their school districts local control based on their community, consulting with their public health officials to decide what is best related to the mask mandate,” said Pam Orebaugh, a parent and a nurse. “Inslee and Chris Reykdal have taken that away from us, so we’re pushing back saying give our school district local control again.”

Stacey Miller joined the rally with her family. She came because her son had brought up a concern last year that she couldn’t ignore.

“My six-year-old said his teacher and friends last year couldn’t hear him and he couldn’t hear his teacher, so that’s just sad,” Miller said. “If a parent wants to have their kid wear a mask then that should be fine, and the school districts should support that but they should also support the parents that don’t want their kids to wear masks.”

For Jill Gregerson, she says she’d rather her child take the risk of getting infected by the virus rather than a mask mandate.

“I would rather have my child, I’d rather take the risk of having them possibly get the COVID virus than to actually mask them and have them sit them here in fear,” Gregerson said.  “I mean we shouldn’t have them live in fear.”

The parents hope an emergency legislative session reverses the statewide decision, leaving it up to individual school boards instead.

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