On Friday, protests against the California schools mask mandate at BUSD schools. Superintendent Katie Kolker said in a letter that can be read below that “many of the 50 or so students protesting have remained respectful,” but the same can’t be said for the adult protestors.
Apparent harassment took place at Home Street Middle School on Friday afternoon, when adult anti-mask protestors confronted middle school students, parents, and staff members during dismissal, “creating an environment of intimidation and hostility.” What’s more, some of the protestors did not even have children enrolled in BUSD schools. Kolker said in her letter, “they are simply using our school as a platform to further their personal or political agendas.”
Superintendent Kolker has made it clear that this behavior is “unacceptable and will not be tolerated” and asks community members to show an example for the children with better and more productive behavior.
It should be noted that the mask mandates are statewide across California schools, and are mandated for BUSD by the California Department of Public Health and CalOSHA guidelines. It is not a decision of the school board, parents, teachers, or any other staff member whether or not these mandates are in place. Protesting such an issue on BUSD school grounds, or to any members of BUSD staff or board, will not be productive in changing or affecting this mandate.
Kolker says the school is working with local law enforcement on this issue, reminding us that alternative independent study options do exist for those who are strongly opposed to wearing a mask during the school day.
Eastern Sierra NOW has reached out to Kolker for comment. We will have more on this in coming days after the CDPH update being provided tomorrow (Feb 28th) on masking in classrooms.