Protest of Genesee county mask mandate

April Carr, Writer

With schools reopening and the threat of COVID-19 resurging, Genesee county health officials made the decision to have a mask mandate on students K-6; to which this decision had a lot of backlash.

According to MLive, a protest was held on Saginaw Street outside of downtown Flint. At the protest, numerous civilians spoke up about why they thought the mandate was wrong. There are also images of parents holding up signs stating,  “Unmask Our Children” and  “My kid my choice.” Numerous protesters went into the Genesee County Board of Health meeting afterwards to further express their strong feelings about the mandate.

Clio resident Gavin Monk, spoke out in support of his grandchildren’s freedoms and made a highly used statement: “Once you give up your liberty, you never get it back.” 

This statement can be seen used in the Anti-federalists papers, which is ironic because though it is history, it continues to come up in the present. Though most of the protests were peaceful, death threats were made to the Genesee County health officials according to The Detroit News.

While there was a lot of opposition to the mandate, there were also parents and students who rallied and were in favor of the mask mandate. So no matter what the outcome would’ve been, one party, or side would have been upset.

The Detroit News stated that immediately after the death threats were made, Genesee County authorities moved fast to make sure nothing would happen. Though Governor Gretchen Whitmer did not make a state-wide mask mandate, some citizens are still upset that counties have the right to mandate it.

A fear that is taking over some people’s brains is the new variants of COVID, and the fear of the unknown of what it can do to kids, and adults. According to the Detroit Free Press, parents have a sense of worry that without the mask mandate, many will decide not to wear a mask and those that do will get ridiculed and made fun of.However, on the opposing side, The Detroit Free Press also states, people against the mask mandate are making very broad statements at school board meetings around the county. From doing things as extreme as making death threats, and doing Nazi salutes.

Recent news surfaced on Sep. 7 that high school students were going to have to wear a face mask, and this has caused a major upset within local schools, especially Fenton High. Parents and students rallied together to protest the mask mandate, and people stated it was their right not to wear a mask. Numerous students were sent home after the refusal to wear a mask. Though it is not Fenton making these mandates, they have to follow what the county mandates, or else the school could face consequences. There has also been a scheduled national walkout on Sep. 10, and some parents, and students plan to participate in this.

Though it is undecided by the public for what each county should do, the decision is ultimately left to the counties.