Parents and students pack Clovis Unified board meeting to protest mask requirements in schools

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CLOVIS, California. (KGPE) – It was a packed house at a Clovis Unified School Board meeting Wednesday night. The hot topic, masks in schools.

It comes after confusion when the state decided to require masks in schools this fall, despite new guidance from the CDC that vaccinated teachers and students don’t need to wear them inside.

The meeting went on for more than four hours as the outrage over masks in schools got political and emotional.

It all started before the board meeting during a protest.

“It’s inhumane, and quite frankly its abuse. If someone wants to allow their child, that’s up to them. I just don’t think it should be enforced,” said a parent at the protest.

More than a hundred people, many of them parents, gathered outside the board meeting with signs, claiming masks take away their freedoms and negatively impact their child’s mental health and development. 

“It’s time for kids to be kids again, they gave up so much last year,” said Clovis Unified parent, Michelle Carter.

Currently, California will require masks inside school buildings when students are present.

They are leaving it up to districts to enforce, which has caused confusion.

“As much as we have a lot of people here tonight who we completely empathize with their frustrations and desires to make their own choices when it comes to their children and school, but we also have heard from a number of families who say, you know we just want you to follow the rules,” said Kelly Avants, the chief communications officer for Clovis Unified School District.

“There is a lot out there about this delta variant and how it’s maybe affecting different communities. But I believe it’s clear to those listening where the board stands on choice and local control,” said Clovis Unified Board President Dr. Steven Fogg.

No decisions were made during Wednesday night’s meeting regarding enforcement. 

Clovis Unified officials say they plan to release more details in a few weeks, closer to when school starts on August 16th.

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