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Parents gather to protest mask mandate at Linn Mar schools

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 6:29 PM CDT
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MARION, Iowa (KCRG) -A group of around 30 parents in the Linn-Mar district gathered near the high school on Monday morning, protesting the districts mask mandate.

Starting Monday, students in pre-K through 6th grade are required to wear masks, as determined by the school board at a special session Thursday afternoon.

Parents lined the sidewalk down from the high school and carried signs echoing their goal, asking the district to be able to choose if their students wear a mask.

Its been a difficult past year for 6th grader Khloe Rice. She described being at school this year saying “Crazy. Absolutely crazy, all I hear about is what’s going on in the world and I just want to go to school, and be able to do school things.”

Last year, her mother choose homeschooling, because of the mask mandates in place. This fall, Khloe started 6th grade this year at Boulder Peak Intermediate. Now that there’s another mandate at Linn Mar in place impacting her grade, she wants her voice to be heard. “Ask the special needs kids and the disabled kids because that’s very important. Because I’m special needs, and it’s just very important that they actually understand what I’m trying to say,” says Khloe.

Khloe Rice, 6th grader at Boulder Peak Intermediate, holds signs with her mother and siblings...
Khloe Rice, 6th grader at Boulder Peak Intermediate, holds signs with her mother and siblings at mask mandate protest outside of Linn Mar High School(KCRG)

Other parents at the protest also chose homeschooling last year. Elizabeth Gorsich, a parent in the Linn Mar district, has nine children, three of which are in grades impacted by the mask mandate at Linn Mar. ”I actually homeschooled last year so that they didn’t have to deal with all of this. I thought I would be OK with the law put into place, but that changed so I’m here now,” says Gorsich.

In a statement sent to KCRG-TV9, Linn-Mar Superintendent Shannon Bisgard said “We respect the rights of those who chose to peacefully make their views known regarding the board’s mask decision. Their decorum is a civics lesson for everyone to appreciate during this controversial time.”

School officials say they will lift the mandate 60 days after the FDA determines when children can get vaccinated.

Some health experts are pushing to authorize the COVID-19 vaccine for children by October.

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