A school district in California has reversed its mask mandate for students after a video taken by a parent went viral showing his four-year-old special needs child being escorted out of the building by a principal.
According to reports, the boy became upset and “inconsolable” for hours after being led out of the school and prevented from attending classes without a mask.
BizPac Review notes:
In the video which was recorded by the child’s father, the boy is seen trying to enter Theuerkauf Elementary School in Mountainview, California when he is prevented from gaining access by a woman who has been identified as Michelle Williams, the school’s principal.
The video clip also shows the child being escorted out of class by Williams who cites the mask policy of the Mountain View Whisman School District as well as an explanation from the school’s resource officer.
“I welcome him here and I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I want him here but it is our district’s policy to have to wear a mask,” she told the boy’s father, who identified himself as Shawn who asked Fox News that his last name not be used.
“You know, I can’t say like what they’re doing is wrong and I can’t say what you’re doing is wrong and honestly, like both sides have valid points,” the police officer is heard saying as he expressed his hope that the mask mandate would soon go away.
“I’m watching my son. I’m waking him up every day, go to school, get turned away with tears in his eyes. He doesn’t know what’s going on, he’s visibly upset, visibly disheveled by getting turned away and rejected,” the father, whose son has developmental issues, said in an interview with ABC7. He went on to note that he recorded the video with the intent of showing it publicly to parental organizations.
“He basically looked like a PTSD victim,” Shawn told Fox News Digital. “He was inconsolable for about two hours.”
Mountain View Whisman School District Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph announced Thursday evening that beginning the following day, the mask mandate would be rescinded and that donning one would become “optional.”
“We are now in the medium tier, so starting tomorrow, we are now in ‘masks optional’ for students,” he said, as reported by ABC7.
Rudolph went on to release a statement on Friday following the incident and after the video went viral on social media.
“Our primary responsibility as a school district is the safety of students and staff members in order to create a peaceful learning and working environment for all on our campuses. Sadly, our schools are caught in a precarious position between groups who have strong opinions about COVID protocols and masking on both sides,” Rudolph said.
“We very much understand that there are strong feelings about masking on both sides. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve had only one student whose parents have not allowed them to comply with MVWSD’s COVID masking rules, resulting in them not being able to attend school,” he added.
“We continually offer support to all students who feel hesitant about masks so that they can attend school. Often this means that teachers and staff go above and beyond the call of duty to find ways to help students adjust to school. Something that often goes unseen or even unacknowledged,” he said.
Rudolph went on to blast the father for making and posting the video.
“It’s very unfortunate that this parent chose to video record one of our principals after she repeatedly asked him not to. This parent worked with an advocacy group outside Mountain View to create a professional video in order to nationally shame a public servant doing her job while maintaining a safe and orderly school,” he said in a statement. “In all of our time in the pandemic, only one parent has resorted to these tactics taken from a national playbook on how to disrupt educational environments.”
Shawn himself pushed back, however.
“I just think it’s time to move forward, the kids need to see faces, they need to see people smiling, they need to have a brighter outlook on the future in general,” he said.