On Wednesday, dozens of high school students in Colorado staged walkout protests in opposition to their school’s mandate that all students must continue wearing masks, as reported by the Daily Caller.
The protests took place at several schools across Douglas County. At ThunderRidge High School, students walked out of their classes at about 9:30 AM. They were joined by students and parents from Ranch View Middle School, and there were similar walkout protests at Legend High School.
The protests came after the Tri-County Health Department board voted on Monday to pass a new mandate ordering all staff and students over the age of 2 to wear masks all day long during school, even if they have already been vaccinated. The mandate does not permit individual counties to opt out at the local level.
In a statement defending the new policy after the protests, a spokesperson for the Tri-County Health Department said that while they “understand that some parents and students are frustrated and disagree with the mask requirement,” they believe that “masks provide protection and prevent the spread of disease.” This statement is actually false, as leading figures on the coronavirus response in America have previously conceded that masks do little to stop the spread, including Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Anthony Fauci.
Students at the protests said that they were sick of the seemingly endless mask mandates. Student Austin Knapp said that “they’ve been going from mostly two years now; this is going to be the third year of my high school career that’s compromised,” and that all he wants is “a normal high school career.” Knapp pointed out that “if you are scared, you could stay home.” Another student, Cole Bradley, said that their opinions were widely shared among the student body: “They hate masks, and I do too.”
In response to growing dissatisfaction from students and parents alike, Douglas County School District released a statement promising that they would “work with our families and staff members who cannot tolerate a mask due to medical or mental health reasons,” and that their “goal is to keep our students and staff in the classroom for in-person learning.”