Crowd protests Huntsville City Schools’ mask-wearing policy

On the first day of school, Huntsville City Schools students, faculty and staff will be required to wear a mask inside school buildings

Posted: Aug 3, 2021 10:32 PM
Updated: Aug 9, 2021 3:37 PM

An outcry over mandatory face masks in schools. The protest happening at Tuesday's school board meeting and just hours before Huntsville City Schools students head back to the classroom.

"We want to make sure the board hears our voices," said Adam Stephens, Huntsville City Schools parent. 

People opposed to Huntsville City Schools requiring the wearing of masks indoors this school year hold up signs outside Tuesday's Huntsville City Board of Education meeting

Many joined the crowd gathering before the Huntsville City Schools Board of Education meeting. Holding signs and chanting, including parents like Stephens and teachers. 

"They were not hearing from their actual constituents that put them in office so we were very upset with that," said Stephens. "We're not anti-mask, but we're pro-choice," said Andy Blalock, Huntsville City Schools teacher.

On the first day of school, Huntsville City Schools students, faculty and staff will be required to wear a mask inside school buildings. 

WAAY 31 asked Superintendent Christie Finley what would happen if students don't cooperate with the mask policy. 

"That's just an opportunity for the principal or classroom teacher to have a conversation with that student," said Finley. 

"We need your input, but we also need you to respect the decision that we make," said Ryan Renaud, HCS Board of Education member.

Many of the people who showed up wanted to speak during public comment, but only two out of the nine who were signed up actually spoke. 

"Take a look at the parents that may have said that had signed up for citizen comment and we can circle back with them, close that loop, and see if we can make sure their voice is heard," said Finley.

Stephens has a message for the board: "Pay attention to what's out here. All you have to do is look around, pay attention. You work for us and you need to hear from us."

Parents do have the option right now to enroll their student in the virtual academy for the semester. That option ends Monday morning.

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