UNITED STATES (KTVX) — In several states, parents unhappy with classroom mask requirements have targeted school boards with outbursts at public meetings and even lawsuits.
In Utah, police are investigating after the Granite School District was forced to abruptly end a board meeting Tuesday night following a disruption by anti-mask protestors. The protest comes less than two weeks before the end of the school year.
The board meeting was streamed on the district’s YouTube channel. Near the 40-minute mark of the video, parents against the school district’s mask mandate became agitated, and chants of “No more masks!” filled the room. Then, they approached board members at the front of the room and abruptly ended the meeting.
Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley says the board meeting was going through its regular process until the public comment section. “Several individuals approached board members in an effort to intimidate them, so the safety of the board and employees was a concern,” he said.
Horsley said police from Granite School District and South Salt Lake were present and helped to de-escalate the situation. “Police are investigating to identify the main aggressors and are evaluating appropriate legal action,” he said.
Utah Governor Spencer Cox has gone on record saying that masks will not be required in Utah schools when the next school year begins, and Horsley says the district’s mask policy was not even on the board meeting’s agenda.
Mike Taylor was among those who attended the Utah school board meeting to protest the district’s mask policy. He says the main problem with forcing students to wear masks is that masks are “representative of submission.”
In Yukon, Oklahoma, another school board meeting was disrupted Monday night when a mother started screaming about mask requirements to applause from the audience.
“You gave our children non-medical masks! ” the woman screamed during the livestreamed event. “This isn’t about COVID, it’s about control!”
More than an hour into the meeting, a woman can be heard yelling “We elect you!” to the board members. At that point, the school board president asked security to escort her out.
Parents in Kansas are also fighting mask mandates, with one mother complaining about her children being isolated from classmates in the Shawnee Mission School District over their lack of masks. “They do want me to get a paper filled out that says they are exempt, but I’m not going to be doing that,” Ruby Gonzales said. “To me, we’re done. We need to move forward.”
When asked why she would not apply for an exemption, Gonzales replied, “We have a choice. Enough is enough. We’re not in jail.”
Elsewhere in Kansas, the parents of 10 Olathe and Blue Valley children are suing their school districts over mask mandates. “All they’re asking is that their particular students be allowed to attend school without a mask,” said Linus Baker, the local attorney representing the parents in the civil lawsuit filed in Johnson County District Court on Monday. None of the families responded to requests to comment on the cases.