Chartiers Valley students stage walkout over mask mandate

COLLIER TWP — Chartiers Valley High School students staged a walkout Friday, protesting the state’s mask mandate for schools.

“No one here wants to wear a mask, it’s why we’re here, it’s our right not to wear one,” said sophomore Tyler Glover.

The students told Channel 11 that news of the walk out spread among students over social media.

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“We were at lunch and a couple of my buddies, I saw them going, that’s how I knew it was happening. So I followed them, went to the protest, I got my sign, we started yelling, started cheering, we went around the whole campus a couple of times,” said sophomore Oliver Abbott.

Abbott and the students spoke with Channel 11 after walking beyond the school’s security gate, toward the entrance to the campus. There they were met with parents, who had not been permitted beyond the gate.

“Every one of you are incredibly brave,” one dad, who traveled from another district, told the crowd of kids.

Some of the parents who were there had traveled from a previous rally at Montour High School.

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Late last month, the state health department ordered districts to enforce a mask mandate, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that everyone wear masks inside school buildings.

We asked the students if they think wearing masks poses a greater risk than catching COVID.

“I think it’s kind of 50/50, but I’ve noticed I’ve done a good job at keeping myself safe, keeping social distance, so I don’t think we need the mask as long as we’re all safe about it,” said Abbott.