Parents protest mask’s mandate in Swan Valley school district

SAGINAW COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) – Parents in Swan Valley speak out on mask warrant.

“Our children shouldn’t be forced to think that everyone around them is sick and dangerous and that their air is toxic to breathe. It prepares them for paranoid psychological damage, ”a parent said at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.

Their reaction comes just a day after the Saginaw County School District demanded that all students, staff and visitors mask themselves inside school buildings.

Before the parents spoke to the council, dozens of them gathered for a peaceful protest at the entrance to the high school.

Melissa Thurston was organizing the protest ahead of the meeting and she says she is a nurse and wants the board to consider an alternative to masking.

“In fact, there was recently a mandatory proposal where we parents obviously voted for more money for our school systems, so I’m asking that we use that money and see a hygienist. industrial. They will come out in our school buildings. They’ll do a health risk assessment and tell us what she should use, ”Thurston said.

Thurston says she wants to focus more on environmental controls in schools, like using filter systems and improving ventilation.

She was supported by other parents who had other reasons to protest the mask’s mandate, holding signs that read “Freedom, not strength”, “Unmask our children” and “My body, my choice”.

A board member, Kevin Shanks, told the meeting that as of last week, 191 students and teachers were in home quarantine or had to be tested for antigen every day.

Right now, he says masks are needed to avoid another round of blended or distance learning.

A parent and district employee accepts and supports the district mask mandate to ensure children’s safety and schooling.

“My son alone struggled with virtual learning, and I know a lot of other kids have. They are not getting the education they need. They are not getting the structure they need. They don’t get the help they need, and then they don’t get the social interactions, ”King said.

ABC12 spoke with the Chairman of the Board after the meeting. He didn’t want to go on camera, but even after hearing from the community, he still upholds the board’s decision to keep the mask’s mandate in place.

He says the district maintenance manager will get all the information from tonight’s meeting to review and move forward.

Copyright 2021 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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