A mother in Gwinnett County, Georgia, demanded her local school board lift its mask requirement for young children in an emotional speech at an April 15 board meeting.
Courtney Ann Taylor appeared to nearly cry while speaking to the board. Her voice cracked several times and her passion brought applause and cheers from some of the assembled guests.
“Every month I come here and hear the same thing: social, emotional health. If you truly mean that, you would end the mask requirement tonight,” Taylor began. “This is not March 2020 anymore. We have three vaccines. Every adult in the state of Georgia that 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 the adults what have we done with that blessing? We’ve shoved it to the side and we’ve said, ‘We don’t care. You’re still going to wear a mask on your face every day, 5- and 6-year-olds. You still can’t play together on the playground like normal children, 7- and 8-year-olds. We don’t care. We’re still going to force you to carry a burden that was never yours to carry,’” she continued, her voice cracking with emotion.
“Shame on us. My 6-year-old looks at me every month before I come here and says, ‘Will you get to tell them tonight? Tell them I don’t want to wear this anymore,’” Taylor said. “And I say, ‘Baby, it’s not time to fight that battle yet.’ I try to explain that there are so many things. But it’s April 15, 2021, and it’s time. Take these masks off of my child,” Taylor demanded, prompting applause from others in the room.
Taylor then called out any school board members that would cite guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to justify continuing the mask mandate.
“And I know what I’m going to be met with: ‘But Miss Taylor, the CDC.’ We did not vote for people at the CDC. We did elect leaders who do create policy. We elected the five of you. We chose you to make difficult decisions for our children. We chose you to make decisions that would be in our children’s best interest,” Taylor said.
“Forcing 5-, 6-, 7-, 8- and 9-year-old little children to cover their noses and their mouths, where they breathe, for seven hours a day every day for the last nine months for a virus that you know doesn’t affect them, that is not in their best interest,” she continued, as her voice began to break again.
“And this has to stop. Defend our children. My 6-year-old can’t come up here and say this. It has to stop. Take these off of our children,” Taylor concluded.
This is Courtney Ann Taylor, a mother in Georgia. She’s one of the many parents who’ve HAD IT with mask mandates, especially for young kids in school.
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— Errol Webber (@ErrolWebber) April 22, 2021
CDC guidelines say that children age 2 and up should be masked.
“Children 2 years of age and older should wear a mask,” the CDC states. “CDC recognizes that wearing masks may not be possible in every situation or for some people. Correct and consistent use of masks may be challenging for some children, such as children with certain disabilities, including cognitive, intellectual, developmental, sensory and behavioral disorders. Learn more about what you can do if your child or you cannot wear masks in certain situations.”
“Note that wearing a mask is not a substitute for other everyday prevention actions, like avoiding close contact with others and washing hands frequently,” the CDC says.
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