West Virginia parents protest face masks in schools outside state capitol building

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — More than 50 parents, grandparents and others gathered outside the West Virginia State Capitol building Saturday morning calling for their freedom of choice on whether their children should wear masks in schools.

“We are here for parent choice,” Loretta Hudson said. “If you choose that your child goes to school with a mask, hey I’m all for it. If you choose for your child not to go, that is our freedom, that’s why we live in the good USA.”

This week, the West Virginia Board of Education left the decision up to county school boards. The Kanawha County School Board voted 3-2 to require face masks for students grades pre-k through 5. Students in grades 6-12 will have the option to wear one.

Kanawha County School Superintendent Dr. Tom Williams wants kids back in school safely.

“Some of them have been out for a year-and-a-half and the most important thing is we need our kids back,” he said. “We need to get them educated, we need to make sure they’re OK.”

Parents across the state voiced their displeasure with the board’s decision. John Davis traveled from Parkersburg to attend Saturday’s rally. He believes masking students is unnecessary.

“The line has been drawn and it’s been crossed,” he said. “There’s no reason to mask these kids. They can’t prove that masks work but there are dozens of studies out there that prove that they not only don’t work, but are harmful.”

Hudson says the decision to mask or not to mask should be up to the parents and not the school board.

“It still comes to choice, parents choice whether we want to mask our children or not,” she said. “I want the freedom to say that or my daughter or my daughter-in-law to have the freedom to say ‘I choose not to or choose to mask.'”

The first day for Kanawha County Schools is Monday. The parents said they plan on holding another rally on Aug. 14.

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