LANSING, Mich. — A Charlotte man is frustrated with his kids school’s decision to enforce a mask mandate and is refusing to send them wearing one.
Scott Leslie has two children in 2nd and 4th grade at Maple Valley Public Schools.
When Governor Whitmer’s executive orders were struck down by the state Supreme Court last Friday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) stepped in with a stop gap to make sure some COVID-19 restrictions stayed in place.
“Our kids wore masks in common areas and hallways and things like that and they could get back in the classroom and they could take them off. Well they can’t do that any longer now they have to wear a mask all the time the entire time,” said Leslie.
Leslie says that masks are uncomfortable for his children, and he feels last week’s Supreme Court decision shooting down the Governor’s mandates should have been the end of it. He says he is refusing to send his children back to school if they have to comply.
“Today I took my children to go to school. They’re eager to learn and they like being at school. They have great teachers and they weren’t allowed in because they wouldn’t wear a face mask,” said Leslie.
The Barry-Eaton Health Department instructed schools in their area to follow MDHHS’s rules. However, Leslie says there’s a legal gray area.
“We got a state constitution and a U.S. Constitution for a reason,” said Leslie.
For the time being Leslie plans to keep taking his children everyday without their masks and is challenging other parents to do the same.
“Hopefully more people stand up. If you want to wear a mask that’s your right and I think that’s great but you shouldn’t be forced to wear a mask,” he said.
Superintendent of Maple Valley Public Schools Katherine Bertolini said in a statement they’re just following the rules.
“We have been advised by our legal counsel and all of the major organizations that we must be in compliance with this emergency order issued by the Michigan Health Department," said Bertolini. "Despite the fact that this is a change from our initial return to learn plan, we must be responsive to these orders when they’re issued to us. In Maple Valley we have the options for face to face and virtual learning. While we prefer not to move people back and forth, we would encourage people to be in communication with us if the mask mandate is overwhelming for them to consider a virtual option. There are other options. We want to work with our families to be in comfort with their own family values to the greatest extent possible.”
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