Georgia mom Courtney Ann Taylor went viral in a video blasting her school board for its mask mandate. She said at the Gwinnett County Public Schools meeting that the mandate places an unfair burden on her 6-year-old daughter and other students.
She argued that adults in Georgia are eligible for vaccination and that the mandate on young children has gone too far, for too long. The mother of three said students cannot play or interact normally at recess, which she called “heartbreaking.”
“It’s really heartbreaking to me,” she said. “…My oldest is in kindergarten and kindergarten is supposed to be fun and they play together, they learn how to play together. They learn social norms and how to solve conflict among themselves and how to read facial expressions from their peers and their teacher. And I don’t see how any of the children can really do that and have a real childhood right now. I think it’s very difficult.”
A chorus of applause followed her comments to the school board. The video has more than 1.7 million views on Twitter. You can watch the video here or later in this post.
Here’s what you need to know:
‘Take These Off Our Children’ Taylor Told the Gwinett County School Board, Demanding They Lift or Loosen the Mask Mandate on Young Children
Taylor delivered a passionate speech to the Gwinnett County school board, arguing that young children like her 6-year-old daughter should not have to wear a mask to school every day. She said they are not able to play together like “normal children,” and said wearing a mask is an unfair burden to place on young students.
This is not March 2020 anymore. We have three vaccines, every adult in Georgia who wants that vaccine is eligible to get it right now, and every one of us knows that young children are not affected by this virus.
They’re not, and that’s a blessing. But as adults, what have we done with that blessing? We’ve shoved it to the side and said we don’t care, you’re still going to wear a mask on your face every day, five and six year olds.
You still can’t play together on the playground like normal children, seven and eight year olds. We don’t care. We’re still going to force you to carry a burden that was never yours to carry. Shame on us.
This has to stop. Defend our children. My six year old can’t come up here and say this. It has to stop, take these off of our children.
A Gwinett County School District Spokesperson Said They Have Had a Mask Mandate in Place Since August to Comply With CDC Guidelines
A Gwinnett County School District spokesperson told Newsweek they have a mask mandate in place to comply with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and other health recommendations. The spokesperson emphasized the importance of safety for staff and students. The school district’s mask mandate began in August.
“We are following the guidelines of the CDC and other health professionals,” the spokesperson said.
The CDC COVID-19 guidelines for children recommends that anyone 2 and older wear a mask in public or when interacting with anyone outside the household. It furthers says wearing a mask is not always possible.
“Help your child (if two years of age or older) wear a mask correctly when in public and when around people they don’t live with,” the guidelines read. “CDC recognizes that wearing masks may not be possible in every situation or for some people.”
Taylor Told Fox ‘There’s No End in Sight’ & Started a Petition to Loosen the School District’s Mask Mandate
Taylor spoke to Fox News about her speech, and said she thinks that those making decisions do not fully understand the ramifications of requiring children to wear masks.
“I think month after month I have been waiting for this mask requirement to end or at the very least ease up, and there’s just no end in sight and nobody’s even having the discussion about when this is going to stop,” Taylor said.
She also started a petition on Change.org, asking the school board to make masks optional at all grade levels. The petition had about 2,500 signatures at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 24.
“Children in GCPS are as young as 5 years old. Requiring small children to wear a mask for 7 hours a day, every single day, for 9 months is outrageous. This virus has a very minimal affect on young children. This has been cited in numerous studies,” Taylor wrote.
She continued, writing that parents are responsible for the health of their children, and should be able to make decisions for them.
“Give our children their childhoods back,” she concluded.