Growing coalition of Waukesha County parents protesting masks in schools, other school policies

NOW: Growing coalition of Waukesha County parents protesting masks in schools, other school policies

BROOKFIELD, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A growing coalition of Waukesha County parents are protesting masks and the COVID-19 policies in school districts across the county.

Tuesday, May 11, some parents intended to attend an Elmbrook School Board meeting to oppose masking. Monday, May 10, a group of parents in Menomonee Falls attended with anti-mask signs to voice their concerns.

“The ones that I hear from that are most passionate, certainly are concerned about their parental rights being taken away from them, and having things forced on them,” Elmbrook parent Heidi Anderson said.

Anderson says thousands of parents with school policy concerns are aligning across Waukesha County and other areas of Wisconsin. Some parents even protest in districts their own children do not attend.

A petition to end the Pewaukee District mask mandate has more than 620 signatures.

 “A lot of it is parents sharing with each other, what’s worked for them and how they’ve been able to get through to some of these elected officials who are hiding behind their Zoom meetings,” Anderson said.

Pediatrician Dr. Gregory DeMuri said, what some parents are asking for, goes against most medical recommendations.

“We do recommend that children attend in person school," Dr. DeMuri said. "We think it’s safe. But one of the reasons it’s safe is because they are masking.”

Waukesha County recently announced new guidance with lower COVID-19 restrictions for schools quarantining.

Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow said they likely won’t recommend ending masking until the fall semester.

"We want to peel back the layers one at a time, to make sure we’re doing the right thing," Farrow said. "You’re hearing a lot of conversation across the country right now with masks. I believe that’s the next layer that we’ll be peeling back.”

Protesters said they will be back at it again Wednesday, May 12, making their opinions known at the Waukesha district board meeting.

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