Some Wisconsin parents turn attention to protesting masks in schools for fall semester

NOW: Some Wisconsin parents turn attention to protesting masks in schools for fall semester

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FRANKLIN, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Like groups of parents across Wisconsin, a contingent of Franklin parents wants an end to the district’s mask policy.

More than 600 parents have signed onto a petition to make masks voluntary, and protesters planned on having a group of 50 parents rally before a Franklin Board of Education meeting Wednesday, May 12.

“I do not co-parent with government," Evgenia Vasylenko said. "I am fully responsible for my kids.”

Viviana Carrillo said, until recently, her 10 year old daughter was required to wear a mask at school despite recently suffering a concussion, which caused physical and emotional problems.

“She doesn’t wear a mask, other than at school, and she comes home crying a lot," Carrillo said. "Sometimes I have to pick her up because she has these really bad headaches.”

Protesters said they are emboldened by similar movements across the state.

The Pewaukee School District has a similar petition with hundreds of signatures to end that mask mandate. The Franklin rally also comes on the heels of protests from parents in Menomonee Falls and Elmbrook districts at board meetings earlier this week.

Parent Frank Fischer said an April 14 announcement from the Franklin School District that they plan on requiring masks in the fall fired parents up.

“Well what does that mean?" Fischer asked. "Does that mean the whole school year? That’s what it sounded like to me. And that’s where we really got angry.”

The Franklin School District declined an interview, but said in a statement of their April 14 presentation: "During the presentation of the plan, district leaders shared that based on the information available at that time, Franklin Public Schools would plan to start the 2021-22 school year requiring masks. District leaders also stated that they would continue to review new information, changing conditions, and additional recommendations leading up to the start of the school year, modifying the plan as needed."

The district also mentioned in the statement "Aside from Franklin High School closing for a 3-week period in November, all of our buildings have been open for in-person instruction since the first day of school. We are one of the few communities in the area that can proudly say that."

The Franklin Board of Education was not actually considering a change to the mask policy during their meeting Wednesday night. Protesters said that only makes them want to fight back more.

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