The CDC is recommending masks for children when indoors, but a lot of parents aren’t interested. They’ve drawn their own conclusions, often led by conspiracy theorists and right-wing media and online influencers, and they’re determined that their kids will not wear masks this school year.
In fact, according to the Daily Beast it’s a movement being driven in part by far-right influencers, who use facebook groups and other online presences to sell parents outrageous narratives, such as that requiring a child to wear a mask is child abuse, and that its part of some global child-enslavement agenda. Members of the Proud Boys militia group have shown up at these ant-mask protests, as have far-right provocateur politicians like Madison Cawthorn (R-NC).
At one such school board meeting, anti-mask parents waited in the parking lot to verbally assault and threaten medical professionals who’d shown up to give testimony, warning them that “we will find you.”
Now a parent in Sutter Creek, California, has sent a teacher to the hospital with a physical attack that came after he was irate at seeing his own child wearing a mask as she exited the school building.
A dad at Sutter Creek Elementary School in Amador, CA, irate over mask mandates, beat up a teacher and sent him to the hospital on the first day of school this week. pic.twitter.com/QSYIrcbSrX
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) August 15, 2021
There are already students being forced into quarantine and schools shutting down as COVID-19 cases rise in the educational system, and pediatricians are concerned about the rise in cases and hospitalizations — including ICU stays — in even young children, who didn’t appear to be as affected by the first rounds of the virus.
Still, the controversy is driving the decisions of school districts, and parents are fighting hard against any mandate that would protect in-person learning.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com