The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh confronted members of the Metro Nashville school board Tuesday night over the board’s decision to mandate universal masking in school during the 2021-22 school year.
Walsh delivered his comments in front of a packed crowd of parents that showed up to the school board meeting largely because of the universal masking policy the board adopted last week. Walsh, arguing against the forced masking of students, received applause and cheers from the audience.
In his speech, Walsh called on school board members to present evidence to back up their universal mask mandate for all students at school, then went on to cite official data on total number of cases for children since the beginning of the pandemic, around 4.2 million, and the extremely low death rate among children, which Walsh compared to the common flu. Forcing students to be masked, he argued, is “cruel” and a form of “child abuse.”
Many in the crowd were not wearing masks in violation of an order by Nashville Mayor John Cooper (D). Later on in the meeting, the school board kicked out all parents and guests who refused to wear facemasks. As the Nashville Scene reported:
Comments from Walsh and other anti-mask parents stirred cheers and hollers from some in the crowd. About an hour after the meeting began, school board chair and District 5 representative Christiane Buggs reminded the crowd that, per Mayor John Cooper’s recent order, masks are required in government buildings. Still, many adults did not put on masks. After a few more minutes, Buggs restated her request, to which one audience member repeated “we don’t care.” Buggs told everyone to leave the room, and that only those wearing masks would be allowed to re-enter. As people left, one attendee yelled “bunch of commies.”
At a board meeting last week, the Nashville Metro school board passed a resolution requiring universal masking for the 2021-22 school year. The resolution read:
Consistent with Mayor Cooper’s Executive Order 21, I move that MNPS adopt a universal mask policy, and that all persons indoors and on MNPS buses be required to wear a cloth face covering or mask, effective Friday, August 6, 2021. The Director of Schools is given discretion to design and implement alternatives to this directive, in order to appropriately meet the needs of MNPS students, employees, or members of the public, while providing reasonable access to educational services and government facilities and services. The board will reassess this mask requirement, under our given authority and with guidance from the Health Department, when all Metro Government-issued mask requirements end.
The CDC’s recently updated guidance on masking in schools states: “Due to the circulating and highly contagious Delta variant, CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.”
Mask policies have become a lightning rod issue for the upcoming school year, sparking large protests and causing some schools to buck state-wide orders. In Florida, the Broward County school board is moving forward with a mask mandate for its students in violation of a state order by Governor Ron DeSantis banning such mandates for students.
DeSantis has threatened to strip the school administrators pushing the policy of pay unless they reverse course.
“There is no room for error or leniency when it comes to ensuring compliance with policies that allow parents and guardians to make health and educational choices or their children,” a Tuesday letter from the DeSantis administration to Broward County school officials said. “Again, if this matter is not addressed by submitting the documentation establishing compliance with the law, maximum accountability measures provided for under the law will be imposed.”
In New Mexico, the school board of Floyd Public Schools was ousted by the state Public Education Department for refusing to abide by an executive order mandating masks across all public schools.