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Bid to unmask students in Maryland

Effort to lift mandate gains momentum
Bid to unmask students in Maryland
Posted at 3:24 PM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 17:48:15-05

BALTIMORE — Standing outside of the State Board of Education their message is clear---end the mandate, let them breathe and remove the mask.

“I know for my daughter, she used to come in the front door and go out the back door or jump on the trampoline, go play with friends,” said Michelle Willoughby of Harford County, “Now, she comes home and sleeps after school.”

The board previously took away local control requiring face coverings in the schools, and despite a letter from Governor Larry Hogan urging it to reconsider, the board says it’s sticking to the science and will revisit the data each month before lifting the mandate.

“They should right now sit down and read through the proper research and make decisions today,” said Michelle Christman, a state senate candidate. “We’re seeing it all throughout the United States. Masks are being taken off of our children and we deserve that in the State of Maryland.”

While the protests and push back continue over masks in the schools, some are prepared to take it to court.

A grassroots group called the Coalition of Maryland Parents is preparing to act if no one else will.

“Right now, over $28,000 that we have raised for this suit will be going to our attorneys and they are, basically, waiting in the wings,” said one of the group’s co-founders, Ali Rak.

The group claims the board has set standards like requiring 80 percent of any school to be vaccinated first that make lifting the mandate virtually impossible.

They challenge the board’s authority to impose the measure and plan to bring to light the potential physical and mental impacts masks may have on children.

“I don’t co-parent with the government. I don’t co-parent with the teachers union,” said Willoughby. “It’s my responsibility to keep my child safe and if I feel like having that mask off her face makes her healthier, then that’s my choice, not the school’s choice.”