BESE board meeting on masks abruptly ends due to outraged parents
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - On Wednesday, August 18 Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting parents showed up to speak out against the mask mandates in schools. But the idea of an orderly meeting was quickly thrown out the door after chaos broke out. Parents were furious about the way the board handled the meeting. We knew tensions were going to be high going into this meeting today, but what ended up taking place was nothing many of us in the room expected to happen.
Things like this are happening all over the country. Parents were outraged over their kids being forced to wear masks in school.
The meeting’s purpose was to decide whether to go along with the governor’s mandate on public school campuses.
“None of those masks are effective, this is authoritarianism, and you are virtue signaling”, one parent belted out in the crowd.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education kicked off the meeting in an executive session addressing different agendas. Parents eager to speak their minds sat fuming for almost 2 hours.
Tired of waiting, they decided to hold their own meeting. Even Baton Rouge Pastor Tony Spell showed up, essentially leading the charge.
“If you don’t have a religious conviction, at least stand up for your civil liberties,” shouted Pastor Spell.
The board returned from their closed-door meeting but faced no compliance. Parents refusing to remain calm and refusing to put on a mask. Failing to regain order, the board took a rollcall vote to adjourn the meeting.
“Madam President, due to the fact that the audience has ignored the request to wear a mask I move that we adjourn the meeting,” one board member said.
The crowd moved their rally cries outside chanting for their children’s freedoms and shouting evidence and claims that masks don’t work.
“You will not hurt my children. When you have to comfort a child that’s 6-years-old crying wondering why she can’t play and eat with the other kids that take their masks off to do so, it’s not right,” another parent shouted.
But not every parent that attended was against the mandates.
“We know they’re tired, we know they want a change. But if we fight each other like this, this virus will continue. They’re not winning, we’re not winning, everybody is losing,” said one parent who was in favor of the mask mandate.
On a radio show this afternoon, Governor Edwards weighed in on parents challenging his mask mandate in schools.
“It is the only way we have a reasonable shot to keep schools open and kids safe”, said Governor Edwards.
Since the meeting was adjourned prior to the agenda item, no action was taken related to the mask requirements in K-12 schools. And the board says, as of now, are no plans to consider the item in any future meetings.
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