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Hundreds of parents rally against Harford Co. Public Schools mask mandate

Posted at 10:47 PM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 08:30:34-04

BEL AIR, Md — On Monday night a crowd of hundreds came loud and ready to demand that Harford County Schools start the next school year mask free.

WMAR2 News’ Eddie Kadhim has been covering this issue in focus— last week he was in Baltimore County and tonight he was at the Harford County Board of Education meeting.

SEE ALSO: Parents and students hold “masks off” rally in Baltimore County

For the first time this school year parents were allowed to come in person to have their voices heard about the mask mandate in schools.

“I just want to standup for my child,” said Patty Strobel. “He needs to breath, the mask gives him a headache, makes his throat sore. There’s no scientific backing to support that children need these masks on their face for that long a period of time in school.”

Delane Lewis of Together We Will-Harford County/Upper Chesapeake came out with a small group of educators in favor of the mask mandate.

“I’m very concerned about the 12 and under children who are not able to be vaccinated and others who are immune compromised,” Strobel said. “I think it’s appropriate that they are following the CDC guidelines and that’s what we should do.”

After that question, the crowd put signs in front of our cameras and yelled too loud for us to ask any follow ups before the group went inside.

Some people in the crowd weren’t allowed in because they didn’t want to wear their masks.

A few minutes into the meeting everyone started coming out and they were told the meeting was ending early.

After a few more minutes they started letting people in one at a time who had signed up to speak but didn’t get a chance before the pause.

“What are the metrics to keep masks on faces and what are the metrics to remove them?” Asked Melanie Rodriguez. “I feel like they are on their face starting school, when are they ever going to take them off? What is it going to take?”

In a statement from the superintendent and chair of board of education they said that the decision to wear a mask is so the students can stay in class.

“My kids both play volleyball,” said Casey Heardenbrook. “Not only in school is it going to be a problem but now they are going to required most likely to be practicing with masks on and playing with masks. It’s really hard for them to do that at a high level, and having to run around with a mask on is tough.”

With the start of school scheduled for September 10th—parents are making sure their voices are heard.