Students are fed up with mask mandates in their classrooms, and one Georgia high schooler took the podium at her local school board meeting to so say.
A video slowly making its way around social media shows the young woman addressing the Fulton County School Board, who oversee the largest school district in the entire state of Georgia, over why their supposedly “temporary” mask mandates are still in effect despite dropping COVID countywide case numbers and non-existent outbreaks among students in public schools.
The honors student described the scene at her high school as en environment of “fear, shame and obedience” in which faculty and staff bully and harass students for pulling their masks down to breathe, and in which student athletes get in trouble for removing their masks to drink water.
“One teacher greets students to class by saying, ‘Check your face.’ One student responds, ‘My face is beautiful.’ The teacher responds, ‘I don’t want to see it,’” the young woman explained, adding, “A teacher sends a student to isolated lunch for pulling the mask beneath her nose.”
The student added teachers are even “recruiting” other students to help monitor their classmates and make sure they’re properly wearing their masks.
“I recall years at Fulton County Schools promoting anti-bullying campaigns, yet your very own hired staff bully us daily about how we wear our masks,” she said.
“We were clearly told the masks would be temporary. Yet week nine, and masks are still mandated,” the student continued before breaking down local data showing fewer than 30 COVID cases had been recently recorded throughout the entire school district.
Fulton County Schools has continued to deny parents’ requests to end the mask mandate even in the face of data showing students aren’t spreading COVID, even winning a recent court battle against the parent community in which a judge ruled masks don’t cause irreparable harm to students and can therefore be mandated.
“As a school district, we have assessed the data and the needs of our community, and we appreciate the court’s recognition of those efforts. Our focus has always been on keeping students, staff, and the community safe and doing everything we can to keep schools open to in-person learning. Our position on masks has helped us do that,” Fulton County Schools spokesman Brian Noyes said in a statement following the judge’s ruling.