Parents from nearly a dozen school districts gather at North Park to protest mask requirements

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — A rally kicked off Tuesday evening in North Park with parents from nearly a dozen local school districts protesting mask requirements for the current school year.

“Here’s what I need all of you to do when they hand you the mask: Hand it back. Now, that takes courage,” said Harry Wynkoop. “My daughter can’t wear a mask. She can’t wear a shield. There are many kids out here that are under the assumption that one size fits all, so it’s important to me that children not be put into a box and isolated.”

Wynkoop helped organize the rally, which involved parents from the North Allegheny School District. A judge approved a temporary restraining order against the school board over the district’s mask policy, making them mandatory again in school.

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“What we’re seeing today is a lot of intimidation and harassment of the students by the folks that are the children of the parents that don’t want masks. We’ve seen a lot of stuff on social media trying to out the kids and parents,” said Alex Saksen, who has children in North Allegheny. “This is a discussion we can barely have as adults.”

Speakers told the crowd of parents that masks don’t prevent the spread of COVID-19, a claim refuted repeatedly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They claimed superintendents were working closely with local hospitals to push masks on people. Another speaker said medicines like Ivermectin, which is used to treat parasites in farm animals and is not approved for humans, can help if someone gets COVID-19.