Over 100 people testified at the Anchorage School Board on Tuesday, and most stated that their children’s social, psychological, physical, and emotional health was being put at risk by the superintendent’s mask mandate for the coming school year. Another 914 parents sent emails to the school board on the matter of the masks.
Many said they will pull their children out of the public schools as a result. Most who spoke said that the parents’ rights need to be restored and they won’t send their children to school in masks.
A few noted it was apparent the board had already decided to back Superintendent Deena Bishop on her decision to enact universal mask mandates.
“What happens to the children who choose not to comply?” Kim Paulson asked the board. Would they be expelled? she asked.
Suicides outnumber covid deaths in children and further interventions with masks are a net harm, said one parent. At least two parents said they are now considering moving to the Lower 48, due to the masking of children in the public schools in Anchorage.
Corinthian Wiley said the U.S. prides itself on individual rights, and the mandates are a step toward totalitarianism.
The mask question was treated as an action item on the agenda, but in fact it was a non-action item. The board simply supported the ruling of the superintendent without a vote.
Board member Dave Donley asked the rest of the board if they would agree to ask the superintendent reconsider her plans to accommodate the many parents’ concerns and the testimony given Tuesday night. But his motion died for lack of a second.
At several times during the meeting, Board President Margo Bellamy cautioned the crowd to stop clapping, cheering, or yelling, or “next time” she would clear the room. The attendees were generally polite but supportive of each others’ testimony.