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Parents push back against state mandate for masks in school; some unenroll their children

Parents upset that students have to wear masks this fall

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Some parents in Central Oregon and elsewhere are threatening to, or actually pulling their children out of public schools until masks are not required.

Officials with the Oregon Department of Education say the recent decision by Gov. Kate Brown follows federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to curb the rapid rise of the more-contagious delta variant of COVID-19.

A Bend mom says her 6-year-old son got COVID, but had problems recovering because he had to wear a mask at school. She says the combination of having to wear a mask and the other COVID protocols played a factor in her not wanting to send him back to school.

“The structure of everything -- while I understand it's meant to keep some safe, I do feel like the mental anxiety that all the kids experience by having to do all these certain things in such a certain way, and they couldn’t just be kids," Justinna Rossett told NewsChannel 21 on Tuesday. "(It) wasn’t enough for me to send him back to school."

Other parents are also considering not sending their children back to class this fall.

Some are even planning on participating in a statewide "unenrollment day" on Thursday, as a way to protest the new mask requirement.

Shelly Baker, chair of the Moms for Liberty chapter in Deschutes County, says she already has unenrolled her two children. And she said it was an easy decision -- even before Governor Brown's new mandate.

"It's not only taking the power of that decision of whether or not a child should be masked out of the parents' hands, it’s taking it out of the people's hands, out of the community's hands, out of the superintendent's hands." Baker said.

"So if they were going to listen to us, it seems like now they either have cover -- by the state government -- or they aren't able to now if they had changed their mind."

State officials said the new statewide rule requiring face coverings in all indoor school settings, public and private, for anyone 2 years and older took effect on Monday. That means it applies to summer school and other summer programming.

Here is a link to the Oregon Department of Education's Ready Schools, Safe Learners "resiliency framework" for the coming school year, updated Tuesday.

Author Profile Photo

Carly Keenan

Carly Keenan is a multimedia journalist and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Carly here.



    1. Are you seriously cool with active shooter drills and ballistic armored backpacks? I’m not. That’s just one of the many conditionings of public school that I don’t support, along with categorizing people based on skin color, messed up common core learning, anti-America training, mask wearing during physical activity and social time with peers, woke teachers, screen time replacing a regular book, and many other things going on in today’s public school system. We took our child out during distance learning, because we saw what our child was being taught and it really opened our eyes to the subtle anti-America, Anti-racial equality, anti-family programming that our children are receiving at their schools. It’s sad to say but public schools are going the communist route of indoctrination over education.

      We don’t need active shooter victim training for our kids, we need anti-bullying training along with more involved teachers. Also, let’s incorporate martial arts and self defense to our
      P.E. Classes. Let’s raise a generation of confident, respectful warriors. Then we wouldn’t require active shooter drills.

      1. We need more parents like yourself that have evaluated the situation with both eyes wide open. Your children have a fighting chance in an upsidedown world filled with those that have been brainwashed beyond recovery and hope like the one that retorted his media-spun response below.

        1. I am ok with letting them teach as long is we had cameras in the class rooms so we can see what’s being taught.. We now demand that our public servants such as police wear body cams, so I do not think its asking to much for our teachers to have cameras within the class rooms.

          1. Gotta make sure those kids dont learn anything about science and that the black folks and Indians had it coming, right? And make sure the girls are in the back learning to sew and cook and not wasting their time learning stuff like math. /sarcasm

      1. Who is the “you” in question? Are teachers, principals and local school boards included in the “you” who cannot decide what is best for kids? Isn’t that exactly what they were hired to do? Or should they make decisions with no regard to what is best for kids?

          1. Whatever Brohan, listening to wingers from the right complain about what was SAID at a BLM rally is hilarious when you can also watch them attempt to defend what was DONE on 1.6.21. at the Capitol.

  1. Fortunately I do not have children but do have several dogs. Anyhow, if I had children I would not allow them to be apart of the public school system of the modern day. A child should have education funds attached to them that follows them thru life and allows them to go to what school they or the parents choose. This would break the grip of the unions.

    1. I would not allow them to be apart of the public school system. Let me guess. Your patents pulled you out before you could speak English.

  2. This is one of the many amazing things about our country. You don’t have to send your kids to public school. You can choose from a variety of other educational opportunities. So please “unenroll” on Thursday and go about your lives. Reduced class sizes in Bend-La Pine schools for the remaining students will be a blessing (masked or not). Now is the time for you to follow through! Unenroll your kids and go find your happy place.

    1. You wouldn’t want that now would you? That would just slow down the indoctrination of critical race theory, marxism, progressive socialism, forgotten history, systemic racism. Nah… you wouldn’t want that!

        1. I’ve made the same mistake, when questioning someone’s intelligence don’t make grammatical or spelling errors. Their patents did nothing. Like I said, I’ve done it too, stupid autocorrect!

    1. It’s is not your decision. You don’t get to choose what’s best for others nor do you have the right to discredit others for choosing what they feel is best for their own children. This is still America. If you don’t like it move back to the hell you came from.

      1. “nor do you have the right to discredit others for choosing what they feel is best for their own children. ”

        When people are teaching their children ignorance and hate? Yes, yes that absolutely needs to be discredited. Acting as though racism and stupidity deserve an equal spot at the table is why this country is in the mess its in right now.

  3. Whatever happened to school being compulsory? When I was growing up you went to school or the truant officer came and took you to school, and quite possibly your parents to jail.

    Is that just not a thing anymore?

    When did school become optional?

      1. I get you are “fed up” but I think this was an honest comment/question as people are talking about pulling their kids from school and the article didn’t discuss (wasn’t the point of the article) where the kids would go. I’m with Blue Danube as when I went to school of kids didn’t go to school they really did send a truant officer after you. Barney answered the question for Blue Danube.
        Blue wasn’t “forcing” people to do anything. Wasn’t “dictating “ anything. Asking a question shouldn’t be grounds to be personally attacked in the comment section.

      1. @Phoenix Knight Depends on where you are from. In South Carolina and Alabama they flat dont mess around and you can end up in big trouble for allowing truancy / refusing to follow compulsory school laws. SC is especially tough. I grew up in those areas and I saw what happens.

  4. Cool! Please go ahead and ease our over crowded schools. These snowflake parents have a problem not their kids. I could go off on this but won’t waste my time knowing the trolls lay in wait here…. someday we will not be in a pandemic. Masks won’t always be necessary for most people. We will be okay and move forward. Except for children like my youngest who will always have to wear a mask in the cold and flu season…bring their feeding tube back pack to school.. take more medications than someone in their 80s…hope when they need a lung transplant a donor will be a match in time. If we can’t wear a basic masks for ourselves, our children, or for our community what the heck have we turned into!???

    1. You are right- “someday we will not be in a pandemic.”… And what will you tell your children ? That you caved to the hysteria- the media propaganda- the politics of the day to remove a very popular and effective President ??? You are an embarrassment ! A perfect example of what has been wrong these past 17 months. These parents that stand in defiance- total respect- about damn time ! You are coward and a fool- Nuff said !

      1. This I will agree with. The reason whats going on is going on is because the public has allowed it. The ol’ “give them an inch and they will take a mile” comes well into play here. Too many inches have been given over the last 18 months.

      2. This is not propaganda, not even close. Its not a political ploy, thats what America decided to make turn this GLOBLE pandemic into. Thanks for caring about humanity as a whole.

    1. You should inform yourself before you spout crap. This group is not what you call “anti vax.” Almost all have children with all their current required FDA approved vaccines. They are against pushing a vaccine that only has emergency use authorization. They are also against using a vaccine on people who are in essentially a zero risk category ( and yes this still holds true for the oh so scary Delta variant based on the current numbers. 340 0-17 year olds out of 80 million to date have died with and or from Covid. Sad for the 340 but in no way do you make policy based on those numbers.

      1. Curious to know if people who keep relying on the EUA argument are just as opposed to hospitals using off-label treatments? If you were to end up in the hospital with COVID, would you reject off-label treatments, too?

      2. Agreed. They are against using children as guinea pigs for an experimental drug. And we ALL should be for that matter. But apparently some parents think its OK because they volunteered to be guinea pigs too.

      3. This pandemic is only in its early stages. 340 young lives is enough for me to get a vaccine and wear a covering over my mouth/nose, that will help to keep it from spreading and mutating into something worse. Should it get to be like its cousin MERS, where 35% died, maybe you will pay attention. What the medical community fears is NOT what it is today so much, but what it can become.

        1. Really? From 80 million. You do realize the same age group regularly has 500 deaths per year from the flu right? You going to mandate masks and flu shots every year as well? Based on your logic you will have to.

  5. So on the same day when the other headlines from the Covid section tell us;
    “Covid-19 cases among US children and teens jumped 84% in a week, pediatrician group says”!
    “Oregon reports 9 more COVID-19 related deaths, 1,575 new cases; highest case tally since January”!

    We get told that “Moms for Liberty chapter in Deschutes County” has a problem with masks?

    Ok. I have a problem with 18 months of Sars-covid-2
    Because of unmasked donkeys!
    These COVID-IDIOTS are infringing on MY RIGHT to LIFE, LIBERTY & Happiness. Not just mine, your too!

    I have a problem with “Gamma variant” which will kill every 3rd person despite vaccinations, because of evolution.

    I also have a problem with schools keeping kids only 3′ apart instead of 6 feet apart. Despite being the only group excluded from vaccines..
    6 feet apart is 1 person every 36 square feet.
    3 feet apart is 4 people every 36 square feet.

    So the state and local school boards can have their empty classrooms.

      1. Another story reported 526 as of Monday. How many people have been infected by 0-17 year olds? No way of knowing for sure, but younger people have been identified as a consistent vector.

          1. From a CDC study updated in July: Some outbreaks have occurred in schools, leading to closures. Significant secondary transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection has occurred in school settings when prevention strategies are not implemented or are not followed. In Israel, prior to vaccine introduction, a school was closed less than two weeks after reopening when two symptomatic students attended in-person learning, leading to 153 infections among students and 25 among staff members, from among 1,161 students and 151 staff members that were tested. Importantly, prevention strategies were not adhered to – including lifting of a mask requirement because of a heat wave, classroom crowding, and poor ventilation.

      2. Currently 349 according to the CDC and 2 of those were in Tennessee over this last weekend. How many is enough for you to feel that proactive prevention is warranted?

    1. Just curious – do you also feel like the THOUSANDS of illegals coming across the boarder, without any kind of COVID screening whatsoever, are also infringing on your right to life, liberty and happiness? (BTW – at the current rate of invasion, we’ll have another 8 – 10 mil people in this country illegally at the end of biden’s first 4 years.) Did you ever consider the Delta variant is so rampant because of the open boarder? Here’s an idea – if Delta is so rampant, how about closing the boarder rather than continuing to infringe on the rights of the people you serve? And can you provide 1, just 1, credible study that proves masks helped slow or stop the spread of COVID?

  6. I think your daughter is very fortunate to have such a mother as yourself. The American Family failed to materialize in the early days of the pandemic, as the Superspreader-in-Chief convinced us to fight each other, rather than the pandemic. That legacy continues, as so many of us have not caught on to the plain and obvious fact: The longer we hem and haw, the longer the risk to individuals and society continues. Masking and the other very simple mitigation measures would have stamped out the virus early on if used consistently and universally. Since we have become at heart so contentious, now that we have effective vaccines, not even that will save us.

    1. That is actually not true based on the Sweden study. They have better numbers than France and Germany who had major lockdowns and mask mandates. The mandates and lockdowns have done nothing for the spread when you look into the data.

      1. (Above my message was intended as a reply to Hospital Hill Girl, whose posts always resonate.)
        Thanks for the challenging reply, Redmond. But, just looking at the nation by nation Covid-19 statistics, Sweden ranks 38 among all nations in death rate and lands in the middle of European nations in terms of death rate. Germany, for example, which employed masking and other mitigation measures, did better. Sweden, it should be noted, did encourage social distancing and actually mandated mask wearing during certain hours on public transit. Sweden is doing remarkably well currently, but that can be ascribed to its phenomenally high national vaccination rate–now well past 70%.
        Once again I will mention my own experience with masking. I was employed on a contract as a respiratory therapist with a hospital in the San Francisco Bay Area. During a time when as many as 1 in 8 nursing home residents were dying from Covid-19, we kept our large long term care facility entirely infection free. How? Scrupulous masking and diligent use of other PPE.
        And, it appears that based on preliminary data, states that imposed mitigation measures experienced lower death rates. If you look at death rates during the 4 worst months of the pandemic (so far) you will find that–for example–a state like South Dakota (maybe because of a high Swedish-American population) had a death rate 4.4 times higher than a state like Oregon.
        Just saying, Redmond. I will be looking for further comments from you here and elsewhere. Dialogue like this is going to save us as a society.

        1. It will be quite fascinating looking at the data in the next 10 years when the frantic environment goes away. Hopefully society will do a good job looking at all sides with open minds to create better policies. Ditto on dialogue. Always saying that myself when people say “we can’t talk about politics.” I always respond that we need to discuss it more if that’s the case or our children and you g adults will have zero clue on how to discuss matters with people you don’t agree with. 👍

  7. Feel free to unenroll your disease vectors. If wearing a mask is so traumatic for the kids and their parents, neither is really ready to face real life. Glad to see Karens for Liberty has a Deschutes chapter. 😆

    1. People all over the world want to live in the USA and it’s not because we are socialists and communists, but exactly the opposite. They want Liberty and are willing to die to achieve that. Your leftist brain is so tiny you don’t even see the reason why a million have entered our southern border so far this year. It’s for FREEDOM that they come!!!

  8. I’d be ok with defunding public schools. Take that property tax money that fund these public schools, put it under the direct control of parents to be used for private schools tuition. And if instead they want to use that slice of money to support homeschooling or private tutoring, let them. Then if they choose to forgo the money they can always send their kids to the govt./union sponsored indoctrination centers.

    1. Spoken like a person who has no idea how the system works or the amount of money you are talking about. And if you think the amount that you pay on property tax that is used for education can pay for private school tuition, you are delusional.

      1. Tell you how the education system does work in the US. First of controlled by the liberal teachers union, second taxes supporting schools are siphoned off by administrators. US ranks 2nd in what we spend per student. And for all that money we allocate to this “balck hole” we rank 38th in math and 24th in science. But probably 1st in feelings and gender choice.

  9. Thank God I was able to move away from the Liberal hell of Oregon. Such a beautiful state that is ran by communist pigs. And don’t forget the subservient sheep that voted for these POS.

    1. While I didn’t vote for Gov Brown, you really need to stop with the use of communist, like Marjorie Taylor Green, you keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

        1. If called before a future committee of Congress chaired by Marjorie Taylor-Greene and asked if I am or have ever been a communist, I would have to say, yes, by Gramb’s definition–the first time I ever watched (or tried to watch) “The Apprentice.”

  10. My parents pulled me from public schools when I was in the 9th grade and sent me to private schools to finish my education. Why? They realized that public education had seriously gone in the toilet since the days when THEY went to school. I learned more in 3 months then I had in one year of public school. And I actually had so many credits that I graduated at the end of my Junior year. This was back in the early 70’s. If public schools where that bad back then, I can imagine what they are like now. Since home schooling started I have met several kids schooled that way. I noticed right off how more mature and well adjusted they are compared to those going to public schools. The kids being pulled and sent to private schools or home schooled will be better off anyway.

    1. The homeschooled kids I personally know are way ahead in education, and are much more polite and respect adults. The proof that public schools have failed us is the fact that so many believe conspiracy theories that are nuts, they believe everything a lier like Trump says, and they think January 6th was a love fest even though there is video evidence of the day, and I could go on and on. Education is the missing factor with those beliefs. Don’t believe me? Read the moronic comments that will come.

      1. “Results from a new USC Dornsife study show that U.S. adults with higher education are significantly more likely to get a COVID-19 vaccination and to believe in the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.” USC News 2/21

  11. Sorry folks but the world of Andy Griffith and Beaver Cleaver don’t exist. Your kids might actually have to live and interact with POC one day. I know the truth scares you but history is what it is and hiding only harms them worse than wearing a mask, lol. You guys are such idiots.

    1. There is proof all around you it exists, including pictures of it. However, as it is not proof you are looking for but rather confirmation bias, you will refuse to accept it.

  12. The virus has NEVER been isolated. They cannot prove its existence! You can not mandate that we do anything for a virus you cannot prove exists

    1. So now, nearly all of the world’s doctors are lying? Wow. Nope, no links to such “it’s all a hoax” claims will be allowed here, as best as I can. Go peddle it elsewhere. We’re getting enough grief from doctors and others for allowing this online… stuff as it is.

      1. Me: Hello CDC, should I get vaxxed if I already had Covid?

        CDC: “Yes, you should be poked regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.”

        Me: Oh, okay, we don’t know how long natural immunity lasts. Got it. So, how long does poke-induced immunity last?

        CDC: “There is still a lot we are learning about COVID-19 pokes and CDC is constantly reviewing evidence and updating guidance. We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who are poked.”

        Me: Okay … but wait a second. I thought you said the reason I need the poke was because we don’t know how long my natural immunity lasts, but it seems like you’re saying we ALSO don’t know how long poke immunity lasts either. So, how exactly is the poke immunity better than my natural immunity?

        CDC: …

        Me: Uh … alright. But, haven’t there been a bunch of studies suggesting that natural immunity could last for years or decades?

        CDC: Yes.

        NEWYORKTIMES: “Years, maybe even decades, according to a new study.”

        Me: Ah. So natural immunity might last longer than poke immunity?

        CDC: Possibly. You never know.

        Me: Okay. If I get the poke, does that mean I won’t get sick?

        BRITAIN: Nope. We are just now entering a seasonal spike and about half of our infections and hospital admissions are poked people.

        Me: CDC, is this true? Are there a lot of people in the U.S. catching Covid after getting the poke?

        CDC: We stopped tracking breakthrough cases. We accept voluntary reports of breakthroughs but aren’t out there looking for them.

        Me: Does that mean that if someone comes in the hospital with Covid, you don’t track them because they’ve been poked? You only track the UN-poked Covid cases?

        CDC: That’s right.

        Me: Oh, okay. Hmm. Well, if I can still get sick after I get the poke, how is it helping me?

        CDC: We never said you wouldn’t get sick. We said it would reduce your chances of serious illness or death.

        Me: Oh, sorry. Alright, exactly how much does it reduce my chance of serious illness or death.

        CDC: We don’t know “exactly.”

        Me: Oh. Then what’s your best estimate for how much risk reduction there is?

        CDC: We don’t know, okay? Next question.

        Me: Um, if I’m healthy and don’t want the poke, is there any reason I should get it?

        CDC: Yes, for the collective.

        Me: How does the collective benefit from me getting poked?

        CDC: Because you could spread the virus to someone else who might get sick and die.

        Me: Can a poked person spread the virus to someone else?

        CDC: Yes.
        Me: So if I get poked, I could still spread the virus to someone else?

        CDC: Yes.

        Me: But I thought you just said, the REASON I should get poked was to prevent me spreading the virus? How does that make sense if I can still catch Covid and spread it after getting the poke?

        CDC: Never mind that. The other thing is, if you stay unpoked, there’s a chance the virus could possibly mutate into a strain that escapes the pokes protection, putting all poked people at risk.

        Me: So the poke stops the virus from mutating?

        CDC: No.

        Also me : So it can still mutate in poked people?

        CDC: Yes.

        Me: This seems confusing. If the poke doesn’t stop mutations, and it doesn’t stop infections, then how does me getting poked help prevent a more deadly strain from evolving to escape the poke?

        CDC: You aren’t listening, okay? The bottom line is: as long as you are unpoked, you pose a threat to poked people.

        Me: But what KIND of threat??

        CDC: The threat that they could get a serious case of Covid and possibly die.

        Me: My brain hurts. Didn’t you JUST say that the poke doesn’t keep people from catching Covid, but prevents a serious case or dying? Now it seems like you’re saying poked people can still easily die from Covid even after they got the poke just by running into an unpoked person! Which is it??

        CDC: That’s it, we’re hanging up now.

        Me: Wait! I just want to make sure I understand all this. So, even if I ALREADY had Covid, I should STILL get poked, because we don’t know how long natural immunity lasts, and we also don’t know how long poke immunity lasts. And I should get the poke to keep a poked person from catching Covid from me, but even if I get the poke, I can give it to the poked person anyways. And, the other poked person can still easily catch a serious case of Covid from me and die. Do I have all that right?

        Me: Um, hello?

    2. Yup, every country, doctor, nurse, first responder, records clerk, janitor in hospitals around the world, and millions of others, are in on this big conspiracy! If you believe that, the education system failed you.

  13. teach children the earth, not forced demands of someone else’s form of education. teaching kids to work for others, is psychotic. we all must learn how the seed grows, why the seed grows. why the stars can time the seeds planting and growing. watch the animals and see them prepare for bad whether. watch some trees turn leaves backwards just before a really bad storm approaches. teach them to make clothing from grass. teach them how to build homes using the glassing effect. ( I would explain that one, but it takes a week to show people.) teach them why its important not to drink rain water or well water. teach them to always filter water using natural elements. teach them to stabilize sewage so it is safe for tilling in the field. teach them water erosion, and the effects it has in the garden. teach them trade is how bad things happen. all sicknesses come from people. not gods or fake demons. trade feeds war, hate and disease. time to grow up. put seed in ground, add water, shut up. talking too much leads to mental disorders. such as trade, building from trees, and using fire. BUT! nobody cares. lets just all build pyramids for the wealthy, kill this planet. and laugh in gods face.

    1. Punctuation, sentence structure, capitalization of first letter of a sentence, and more, are all taught by the seventh grade. Don’t use all that properly? No one reads your word salad.

      1. Are you here, proclaiming ONLY Trump supporters are not getting vaccinated or want their kids wearing masks? If so the democrats are in a world of hurt. They lost the minority vote.

  14. I have family in preschool, grade school, middle school, and high school. They all wore masks and just adjusted. But some parents do not have the skills to teach resilience. This is an historic time that kids should be encouraged to look back on with pride. Small sacrifice, really. I’m sure the schools with families who have extremist alt-right views will be relieved to have a break from you, even if they miss your child. Staying home to school your child is fine with me. Maybe Betsy Devos can get you into one of her online ch

  15. Charter schools. You know, Education Secretary under Trump whose company makes money student loan debt collection, particularly those who defaulted on private for profit schools with no degree or a degree worth less than the paper printed on. Betsy Devos wants to privatize k-12, for similar reasons. So, there’s that for you conspiracy theorists

  16. Today is a smokey day. If you believe your cloth masks are effective, go outside in your cloth mask for an hour today. Tell us how you feel after. SMOKE: 0.1 to 1.0 micron, VIRUSES(COVID): 0.06 to 1.4 micron —- WAY SMALLER THAN SMOKE—

    THAT is SCIENCE. Not your quotes from politicians. ASK ANY microbiologist about particulate sizes.

  17. You are a tool for the wealthy. Nothing more. People who correct others are called psychotic manipulators. Obsession to word and grammar. Obsession to hunt others to correct. Obsession to force children into military lifestyles. Destroy the earth so you can correct others. It’s only words. Obsession to keep the stuff and lifestyle you have. You are a hate filled bully!!

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