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Mayor Charlie Pierce issues statement: Take the masks off kids in schools on the Kenai

Kenai Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce has seen enough. On Facebook, he issued a strong suggestion to the Kenai Borough superintendent of schools: End the mask mandates for children in the public schools.

“Kids are being forced to wear masks all day in schools in the Kenai Penisula Borough, and I do not think that is right. I am proud that the Kenai Penisula Borough has some of the lowest COVID numbers in Alaska; I credit the People for that. I did no mandates concerning your health cause I am a firm believer in your right to decide your health; it’s none of my business. I have been the Mayor who chooses personal liberty and freedoms over government overreach,” Pierce wrote.

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Pierce acknowledged he has no authority to remove the mask mandate from children in schools, but he showed he is willing to at least use the pulpit of borough mayor:

“There is no more emergency declaration at the state level, we have access to the vaccine, and there is no need to force kids to wear a mask during school, at recess, in the gym, or at school sporting events. I hope that the new Superintendent and I can find some common ground there. I am hopeful for his leadership on this issue, as this is a genuine concern many parents have. The beauty of this is that if you still feel strongly about the mask, you can choose to wear a mask still if you would like but let us not force a mask on kids.”

The new superintendent of schools, Clayton Holland, will replace current Superintendent John O’Brien on July 1.

Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. The masks, clear face shields, bandannas, etc. that we see in use do not protect against an airborne virus.
    They don’t seal around your nose and mouth so unfiltered air flows right around them.
    A positive pressure hazmat suit with an independent air supply is the only real protection from an airborne virus…that’s why virologists and the like wear those in their labs rather than a two elastic strings over the ears face mask.
    Face masks are a knee jerk reaction to what we now know is a non-pandemic new coronavirus that isn’t a human race ending killer.
    Sure, it’s prudent to be cautious until we know what we’re dealing with but now we know that the at-risk population is much smaller than originally feared and that most of us will experience mild or even no symptoms.
    Remember how we were all going to catch it from contaminated surfaces or handling money or from floating virus getting in our eyes???
    Ahhh…the days of dousing our hands in rubbing alcohol to avoid near certain death!
    It’s time to restore sanity and to end these useless and ineffective measures.
    Or, alternatively, go get the experimental, not properly tested, never before approved for use on humans mRNA gene therapy vaccination that might not even protect you against the dominant Covid strain and certainly won’t against any mutations but could kill you and then hope for the best as you still wear your double masks while shunning human contact closer than six feet.

  2. This is a fight children under 18 need to take up on their own that these students stop wearing the masks all on their own. There are a Few Alaskan children already had made up their own minds about not putting a mouth mask over their face. Not even the parent can get their own child into compliance, and if a stranger tells the strong-willed non compliant child to wear a mask they get a tongue sticking out at them.

    Parents! Who said they have a strong willed child, where they at!? The true strong willed child stomps on that mask and sent home with their head held high.

  3. What are they waiting for? They have had such a low turnout in Juneau that they have $500 door prizes twice a day. The legislators are talking about offering free shots to encourage tourism. So yes, I can support his decision. I am sure Anchorage will follow suit once the election is over and the assembly no longer needs the excuse for mail in ballots and limited polling locations.

  4. Right on, Mayor Charlie! It is criminal what the teacher’s unions have done to our children.

  5. I’ve read there are many negative health affects that can occur from prolonged masking. These mask were designed for limited use, and a one time use. The mask is a covid sponge, that no one can keep their hands off. From the sponge to every object you come across. The mask will not stop aerosols and the covid transfers through or around. We are being lead and manipulated. Fear, masks, vaccine and the passports. Better stand and soon, time is of the essence. There is a document out there from 2017 that has this all laid out. We are allowing this script to play out. Wear your mask if you like Gregory, I don’t mind!

  6. Yeeeeeah okay Gregory, you do realize Kenai borough has a large Russian old believer population, they don’t believe in masks or vaccination. Good luck making them “get the shot”.

    The mayor made the right decision for his borough.

  7. ??? The KPEA did not determine the mitigation plans. You overestimate their influence. District level administrators and building administrators made a lot of these decisions, though often with input from committees. The anti-union [often specifically education-oriented] sentiment is a farcical political talking point founded in anecdote not analysis. Are the states that ban collective bargaining for teachers leading the pack in outcomes? Certainly not. Are the charter schools (almost 90% of which are non-union) outperforming the rest? No. A comprehensive Stanford study of charter school (sponsored by pro-charter interests) found that only 17% of charter school outperformed regular public school. And 37% actually performed significantly worse. The “criminal” thing teachers and their unions are trying to do is support and educate children. All while earning 78 cents on the dollar compared to other college graduates. Because they want to serve and help kids.

    But hey, why bother digging in to research actual data. Instead just continue hating something based on anecdotal or politicized misinformation.

    Meanwhile, cases are spiking in several peninsula schools forcing entire cohorts of students to go into quarantine. Why is Charlie spouting off about easing these measures when cases are spiking again and more dangerous variants are likely here? Aren’t there just a few weeks left in the school year?

  8. We’ve pulled our kids until KPBSD pulls their liberal heads out of their butts. Good move Charlie, but probably too late. We’ll homeschool next year. KPB schools are failing, badly.

  9. Since the very beginning of all of this, the clearest evidence that decisions are NOT following science and data and only following public opinion and the hysteria created by the media and political climate is the handling of children and the schools. For anyone looking at the data, it is blatantly obvious that kids are not at risk and do not transmit the disease. This was discovered long ago and it should have been good news, but personal egos are more important I guess. Some people are more concerned about maintaining that their hysteria is justified and that they have been on the right side of the political spectrum then the well being of their own children. And Fauci has read this climate very well and gives very timid and lukewarm answers when it comes to children and opening schools. Hey, but he’s very excited that the experimental vaccines that have heavy side effects have been tested on children and are 100% effective at protecting the demographic that is already 100% safe. What the HELL! How stupid are people. Why isn’t anyone calling him out except a few Republicans?! Most on the right can see his bs and does not trust or like him, but the left should be more mad than anybody because they put their faith in him and he is totally manipulating them and using them to push his own agenda.
    I have lost all respect for American journalism, but I didn’t have much to begin with going into this.
    Drug companies should no longer be allowed to run advertisements or fund “news segments”. I also now have zero faith or respect for epidemiology and it needs to be torn down and rebuilt internationally so it understands it’s role in the “trolly problem” that is a pandemic. CDC members should not be allowed to be on patents for vaccines or treatments. Actually, the CDC needs to be trashed too. And the medical industry isn’t looking too hot either. Shunning treatments and even banning them in hospitals when there is evidence some might be helpful, if not very effective at preventing severe symptoms is disgraceful. Ivermectin has no side effects, no dangers, and preliminary studies have shown it prevents death and hospitalization almost completely, yet some hospitals have banned or shunned the treatment, which they never do for anything that is in the area of discovery because doctors are supposed to use their own judgement. Remember, that’s why they are “practicing medicine”. And masks… masks might be slightly effective at slowing the spread.. might be, but they come with the cost of pitting ourselves against each other and a false sense of moral superiority and protection. The best example of this is the Anchorage mayor thinking the best thing she can do to lower the numbers is hire code enforcers for face masks when 98% of the people I see in the public are already wearing masks, as if the only cases that are still occuring are because of that 2%.
    I’m mad as hell that this mayor is the only person that has any balls. And the teachers’ union is awful and is showing how little it prioritizes giving kids a good education. The union should be asked to answer for themselves in front of congress. I see too that we are going to get bad school board members again that just want to push for more progressive ideas and funding and all of the usual garbage that totally misses the mark. We need to give more power to the teachers while still holding them accountable and put more focus on fundamentals and discipline that succeeds. 3rd world countries have higher literacy rates than Alaska and it is not because they try new things constantly make sure education is fun for kids.
    Ok rant done. Vote people. And tell your friends to vote.

  10. Where are all the hazardous biological waste receptacle for used mask disposal? Or the special trained and equipped disposal crews. For such a deadly disease there is neither in the whole country.

  11. Amen
    Masks don’t work
    All you Afraid People stay home. Let us normal Not Afraid People live are life’s.
    Parents with kids in these schools. Should take there kids out of these school until this Stupid mask stuff is Stopped

  12. Can you imagine all the snotty noses within those warm moist masks.! What a haven for bacteria growth.

  13. That is what we have chosen to do. We probably won’t have them go back either, as the district continues to fail at preparing students for success.

  14. Outside of limiting your exposure to someone else’s foul breath these masks have been a political dustup and little more. Were that not the case everyone in The Valley would be dead as would our obese 70 + year old former president.

    Pull on the big girl panties and move on; you’ve been hoodwinked.

  15. Teachers unions are just that: unions for teachers. They have never been about the students. I know a few public school teachers who are hard working and committed, but many are not.
    And as for what is taught: even on the KP the leftist ideology is infiltrating the curriculum. This is why many parents are looking for alternatives and are finding them. Charlie Pierce is correct in calling the administration out on the mask wearing, even though he has no direct authority over them. I wish Dunleavy would take a memo and do the same.

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