A liberal professor and priest in Ohio posted a TikTok video of herself crying and explaining why she was frustrated that her child’s school was not implementing a mask mandate.
Reverend Rachel Kessler is a professor at Kenyon College, a liberal arts school in Gambier, Ohio, and a self-proclaimed “exvangelical,” or former Evangelical. She has a guide for “LGBTQ+ affirming churches” on her website and claims to be an Episcopal priest.
Kessler boasts approximately 11,000 followers on her TikTok page, “nerdypreist,” where she went on a rampage about the lack of mask mandates at her child’s school. According to Kessler’s website, she has a female toddler.
Teacher cries that her school doesn’t have a mask mandate for students pic.twitter.com/p2MurZ5xhx
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) August 10, 2021
I need to go home. Instead, I’m sitting at my desk crying because we just got word from our superintendent that masks will not be required in our school district this year because the school has to respect the choice of parents that don’t want to have their kids in a mask.
And that’s just the most bull***t reasoning, and I’m so over it. Because there is no such thing as a personal choice in a pandemic. Because I have no choice now to send my child to school in a way that will be safe for them. Because my child’s mask will do a great job of protecting the other kids around her. But I have no choice not to have my kid coughed on by her classmates.
I am so tired of this “I’ll do what works for me, you do what works for you” take on a public health crisis. And we are never going to get out of this if we cannot start collectively thinking about how our actions impact the people around us.
Following a spike in infections from the COVID-19 Delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its return-to-school guidance to recommend universal masking for students and staff, regardless of vaccination status.
In response, Republican Governors such as Oklahoma’s Kevin Stitt and Florida’s Ron DeSantis have barred schools from mandating that school children wear masks. Many states — such as Ohio — have opted not to reinstate mask mandates, but leave the decision to local school districts.
Other states, such as Kentucky, have mandated masks indoors in preschool and K-12 classrooms, as well as all child care settings. Kentucky officials claim that the virus is “hitting kids in a way that we haven’t seen before,” though health officials say that children who are infected experience mild symptoms and rarely require hospitalization.
The lack of mask mandates has prompted parents, teachers, and administrators to lose their minds. One school board member in Oklahoma said that maskless students would “commit murder.”
“It’s just not okay for kids to commit murder by coming to school without a mask,” said Norman Public Schools board member Linda Sexton. “[They] will cause a death of another child because they come to school without a mask.”