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Sisters protesters rally against mask mandate for K-12 students

('We just want the parents to have a choice whether to mask their kids or not,' said protestor Amy Larrabee)

SISTERS, Ore --(KTVZ) -- Parents and community members who don’t believe students should be required to wear masks in school rallied Sunday in front of the Sisters Public Schools Administration Office along Highway 20.

About 20 people took part in the event, arranged on a Facebook group page with a goal to challenge the Bend-La Pine Schools for mandating masks for all K-12 students, as the state Department of Education has directed, and to apply pressure on Sisters Superintendent Curt Scholl, the school board and Deschutes County commissioners to challenge the requirement. 

One participant, Amy Larrabee, said it’s important for parents to know there is power in numbers and that they need to come together to stand up for their rights.

“I’m trying to give parents courage to stand up for what they believe in." Larrabee said. "I feel like a lot of parents are stuck, because they work full-time and they have to get their kids in class. We just want the parents to have a choice whether to mask their kids or not.”

Larrabee says she stands on her conviction that science does not support a need for masks.

“There’s been zero, zero Covid deaths in the state of Oregon for children 18 and under, so there’s just no reason to have the distraction and the carbon dioxide poisoning for our kids all day long, every day," Larrabee said. (Authorities have confirmed two juvenile COVID-19-related deaths, an infant and a 15-year-old boy, since the pandemic began.)

Another rally participant, Rodney Cooper, is a grandfather of students in the Sisters district, worked for 32 years as a school teacher and currently serves as a substitute teacher. He is also in favor of having the choice for kids to wear masks.

“The deaths from Covid in this age group are less than the deaths of flu in this age group. We’ve never masked for flu," Cooper said.

He added that that he believes the government is over-reaching its power. 

“My friends that have gone to war and died didn’t go to war and die for this kind of America," Cooper said.

Though both Cooper and Larrabee don't suggest pulling kids out of the public schools, they said they refuse to abide by the mask mandate and seek change through civil disobedience.

Author Profile Photo

Bola Gbadebo

Bola Gbadebo is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Bola here.



  1. Aug 14 (Reuters) – The number of children hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States hit a record high of just over 1,900 on Saturday, as hospitals across the South were stretched to capacity fighting outbreaks caused by the highly transmissible Delta variant.

    Do these people really think that Oregon is going to be immune from this? Why for God’s sake would you not want to be proactive when it comes to your child’s health? And the business about a mask causing carbon dioxide poisoning is just more hogwash.

      1. I’m thinking this protest is great. The government should never make laws and policies that infringe on my freedom to do what I like in a free country. I am going to take there lead and quit obeying traffic signals and speed limits. I may in fact speed in a school zone. If I hit and kill a kid – so be it. A few consequential deaths as a result of exercising my freedoms is worth it. HooRah!

        1. Why stop there? Let’s all text while driving and guzzling a bottle of JD. Ain’t gonna stop for no damn red lights either. Speed limits be damned. One way? No way! Don’t need no stinking seatbelt or turn signals, won’t use em! Laws to keep air and water clean are for sissies – I like my air and water chunky! If I like your house or car, I’ll just take em. Maybe your wife and daughter too. Yeah! Disobey you all! It’s the wild wild west and every body for themselves! Yi-haa!

        2. “The government should never make laws and policies that infringe on my freedom to do what I like in a free country. ”

          So, what is your opinion on government controlled intersections with traffic lights?
          Speed limits
          no smoking on planes, theaters, grocery stores, cafes
          I’d suggest trying to walk right by one of those TSA guys/gals at the airport – hey! it’s your freedom
          you should drive where ever you want

          The freedom to swing your fists, ends at my face!

          1. I would like to agree with you. We all know that co morbidities add substantially to the mortality rate. So I propose that we outlaw obesity. There are lots of big ass people walking around that should be not legal. Smoking affects the health of the lungs. Ban cig and close the pot shops. I am sure the stoners will hate that but weak lungs cause death from viruses. Alcohol weakens the immune system so it should be banned. I am thin, do not smoke, drink or do drugs. I am over 70. When I had covid last fall it was kind of like a moderate flu for me. Stay healthy. (I am not so sure that masks add to a young persons health but I will leave that to experts like yourself)

        1. “I feel like a lot of parents are stuck, because they work full-time and they have to get their kids in class.” I guess she doesn’t realize she’s working against her own wishes. The whole point of masking is to reduce the likelihood of outbreaks, which would then force schools to close like they did last year. Carbon dioxide poisoning? LOL, can’t have it both ways. If you (falsely) claim that masks to nothing to reduce expelling virus-laden particles, you can’t then turn around and claim they are impervious to CO2, a gas.

          The school district is just trying to keep schools open and prevent what is happening elsewhere:

    1. Yer an old broken record M… No healthy child has died from your Wuhan lab virus “ever” in the state of Oregon… you cannot say the same for the common flu ! Time to stop the hysterics and never ending nagging !

              1. Barney will play the “word game” all day… simple solution- always form your sentence accordingly… not a single “healthy” child has died from the Wuhan Lab Bat in Oregon- as in Zero ! That is factual- accurate- and quiets the Digi-Con-Tator… who is always looking for a loop-hole to push the agenda of fear.

          1. Whether the final outcome is death or not, what loving parent would value his or her personal rights over taking even the slightest chance that their child could end up in a pediatric ICU, hungering for air, being put on mechanical ventilation, isolated, alone and afraid. Yes the chance is small that a child will get that sick from Covid. But what parent is willing to bet their child’s life on it for the sake of not wearing a mask, something less intrusive than a pair of sunglasses? Kids look to their parents for protection. It’s about time people put aside their personal freedom and rights issues and start doing their jobs as protectors of not only their kids but other kids who have underlying conditions such as asthma.

            1. FathersChild…..change your name to child, because that is what you act like.I don’t need you, or any of your ilk pretending to protect my children.

        1. It’s still going on in BGHW’s empty noggin. I’d like to see one building for these parents children, But good luck finding a real teacher willing to teach in that petri dish. Bghw could teach Nutjob old fart 101.

          1. Being at Camp David, AKA Naval Support Facility Thurmont, is not exactly like being on vacation since it has everything needed for POTUS to run the country. It is definitely not like being on a golf course at Mara-Loco where a Big Loser spent most of his vacays so the taxpayers could put money in his coffers for exorbitantly priced housing of the required secret service details. How did the loser’s reinauguration on National Kool-Aid Day go, 8/13? Were you invited? Did you need your “Offical” Trump supporter card to get in?

      1. So let me get this straight, if China invaded would you take arms and protect yourself and others? And yet you believe China created this Virus and you won’t protect yourself or others from it? Oh that’s right it’s only “Me Me Me” just like Trump

        1. Imagine if these whiners had to stand in line just for a loaf of bread or a bottle of water because of a national disaster. Wonder how they’d feel about having POTUS throw a roll of paper towels at them. Maybe wearing a mask wouldn’t seem so horrible, but then I don’t think along the same lines, comparing mask wearing or being vaccinated to being loaded on trains headed to concentration camps during the holocaust. H***, I don’t even think of it as an infringement of freedom but rather a very tiny sacrifice

    2. So 1,900 children went to hospital for some unknown reason and then tested positive for the virus. You do know that the PCR test cannot discern between coronaviruses, right. The PCR test cannot tell the difference between a common cold virus and the seasonal flu. You statement means nothing. How many children are in the United States all together? !,900 seems a small number when compared to the population. !,900 children with near zero risk of dying for the virus. I say this report (Reuters) is misleading at best. These children were hospitalized with, of from, covid?
      According to experts, the Delta variant is more transmissible but less virulent. The scare tactics only work on those susceptible to fear mongering.

    3. In 2019, more kids died from the flu than have died in a year and a half of covid. Were you advocating masks then? You probably didn’t even think of it. So, what’s the difference? It’s the intensive fear campaign.

      1. Ironically, you’re proving a point here. Most SE Asian countries’ children wear masks in school during flu season for this exact reason. The difference is uneducated imbeciles like yourself in this country feel emboldened to speak up because “free speech” but never realized your lack of expertise and low-IQ would mean your idiotic drivel on this topic would be meaningless at best.

        But yes, fewer children per capita die in SE Asian countries because of flu-season masking policies. I guess you’re ok with staying ignorant and “breaking a couple extra eggs” just so you don’t have to inconvenience a child with a mask — something they don’t really care about.

        By the way, I know you are super dense, so to be clear the “eggs” being broken in the analogy above are avoidable child deaths that, now that mask effectiveness is proven, you have no problem going back and letting children die avoidable deaths again.

    4. The 1900 children has ABSOLUTLY NOTHING to do with the mask. The masks do not work. It may make you feel better about yourself, but it has absolutely no chance of stopping covid

      1. Maybe you should stop researching only the sites that make you feel better about yourself and the choices you’ve made and start looking at real medical sites like these:


        There are so many websites and other sources whose aim is to inform and help prevent suffering and death, not to support political biases and conspiracy theories about ridiculous freedom restriction and civil rights violations.

        1. There hasn’t been an uptick in deaths they’re just calling deaths covid-19 related. The virus hasn’t even been contained so how can they test for something they don’t have🤔

    5. 1900 out of how many people? What % of the population of all the area in which these 1900 were pulled from? When we find out that % are we as concerned about all the other deadly behaviors and/or activities and/or disease that we have been living with in like forever? or are just in a panic because that is all the media talks about lately?

  2. Just imagine if fatboy45 NEVER made this political! all his low IQ followers would have worn masks and got the vaccination!
    we would be through with this mess!

        1. Stoned…so triggered. Get a life. BTW no vaxx no mask and kiss my ass!!! Been all over Central Oregon not one business has even said a word about me not wearing a mask. No vaxx either gonna get you!!!!

    1. Lets see. Who has the lower IQ? Those who follow a man with a lucid mind, or those who follow a man who is a bumbling buffoon that can’t remember yesterday.

      1. Now that’s funny! He thought injecting disinfectant was a good idea and looked at a solar eclipse without eye protection among so many other things. Not surprising you think he has a lucid mind if you’re comparing it to your own, Fed up Loco.

    1. How so ? How many healthy Oregon children have suddenly died from this virus ? Lemme help… Zero- and that’s in 18 months ! What are you gonna d when the flu season strikes- it really is dangerous for children- all children ! “Red One” indeed- flush with embarrassment !

          1. Even if you actually had a medical degree you would lose it over spewing such nonsense. Janitor at a hospital perhaps, but you wouldn’t last a week doing that with your imbecile potty mouth.

      1. Barney already addressed your question about Oregon child deaths so I won’t. Apparently you agree with the Lt Gov of Texas….some should just die so the rest can enjoy the recovering economy. Not a philosophy I can apply to kids. Or anyone, since vaccines and mitigation can save lives. Blushing? I suspect the only ones who should feel shame these days are those following social and conservative media advice on dealing with (or just not dealing with) this evolving pandemic.

    2. And sadly, the more they seem to be winning on the local level. Because people arent getting out there and countering their tantrums with votes and voices in opposition, we now have states stripping away the power of the people to vote and placing it squarely in the hands of state legislators and moles are being elected in congress by running as democrat on ticket then unofficially jumping sides once elected.

      People are too quick to think conservatives dim witted. Their ideologies may be, but their methods are cunning and insidious.

      We on the verge of a dark age in this country and the local level is where its growing. Remember to always speak up and speak out, and on election day, dont just vote but do your due diligence to make sure the person you voting for isnt a mole!

        1. Stoned is walking around like Jesus with a mask on that doesn’t stop viral transmission claiming those without masks are evil. Yo stoner, I think you put too much fertilizer on the golf course today at work, plus it was hot. You have heat stroke???

        2. Idiot with the mask on. The mask is nothing but theater. It does absolutely nothing to protect you from a virus that is as small as a micron. But you go ahead and keep believing in the boogieman.

      1. “Private” business have every right to mandate masks within there stores. Or as a “I have my rights” Trumplican does that not mean anything to you?
        You in come to my business with that soapbox of yours you will soon find yourself out on your butt. And that’s my right.

        And all your Trumperthumpers out there holding signs saying “ my body my rights“ gag me…Let’s see you say that when it comes to abortion rights.

        1. Please name your business so I can be sure you never get any of my money? As for abortion….well you are for killing babies in the womb of their mother and that is actually pretty disgusting…….you promote killing babies…..but we should all mask up….you are an idiot little D

  3. I’ll repeat this again- These whiners out in Sisters missed their chance to recall the Gov months ago- couldn’t find time to sign a simple piece of paper for their children’s future… now they wanna stomp their feet ! Tough !!! You don’t like living under a dictatorship out of Salem- do something about it during the next elections- until then too bad ! “No action- is action” ! Now live with the misery and anger !

    1. I disagree. Good to stand up. You can do it locally as well. Refuse to wear a mask in any business during this illegal mandate. I have and have zero pushback. Employees are done being Kate’s Little Gimps enforcing this crap. Toss the mask, worst thing that can happen is they will ask you to leave, big deal. Most places don’t even have employees wearing masks.

  4. Selfish morons who’s kids will be embarrassed as they get older. So sick of the “my rights” fools who think more of themselves that the greater good. Your kid giving me Covid doesn’t help me with my freedom but makes you look like ignorant fools.

    1. Stupid dumbocrats that take any story from cnn hook, line, and sinker will have kids that are embarrassed they are related. You sign up for a booster yet Stoned????

      1. Myself, my wife and daughter all got our shots at the fairgrounds. Funny, I didn’t see a single booger eating moron in the crowd. You know the old saying, “The family that gets vaccinated together, doesn’t drop like flies one at a time”

        1. Yep, We took in two cats from a couple that were moving out of state, A Mother cat and her disabled Daughter who was born without a tail and back legs that can’t operate separately.The POS boyfriend that we later learned abused these cats badly had named the Daughter “Gimp”. My Daughter changed it to “Jesse”, after a friend who had moved away.This “disabled” cat moves like a rabbit, and is the fastest cat I’ve ever seen.

  5. “No Opposition” to this protest… My what an eye-opener that must be for KTVZ and their constant assurances that “mask mandates are approved by everyone” !

      1. And a bunch of brainwashed people that wear masks is funny to watch. Hey stoned, when you see me in a local business come up to me and demand I put a mask on. Bet you won’t. You can’t even think for yourself.

        1. Go further toward threatening violence and posts are deleted, as I’ve already done to some of your posts. At some point, we may decide that more than 20-25 posts an hour is “offensive” harassment and a waste of people’s time. More deletions, possible ban. (Come back under new name, do same thing, same outcome.)

          1. I don’t see any threat of violence in that post ! I’m pretty sure it’s in the same league as Maxine Waters telling her rabid followers to “get in their face- make them uncomfortable”… and the Z posted that for weeks. You seem to be going out of your way to protect the real troublemakers around here. “Stoner” has done nothing but lob personal attacks all night- that one deserves your threats more than anyone else !

          2. Where is this threat of violence with what Louie said to that idiot stoner? Also this is a place for people to talk it up so why would you limit it with that “posts per hour”? Sounds kind of 3rd reich-ie.

        2. After claiming to have a medical degree, something never given to an obvious uneducated Mongolian idiot like yourself, at least read your comments and see what a baffoon you are the very description of. Here, I’ll help : buf·foon

          a ridiculous but amusing person; a clown.

  6. Looking forward to the day when the government forces you to do something that you don’t want to. We will see how it goes when the shoes on the other foot. It will happen and people won’t forget.

    1. I hate it, but understand it. I wont forget it and I’ll know I helped by listening and getting vaxed and wearing my mask. You should step up and think of others, not just yourself. Wear the other shoe a little more.

          1. Yes. KC was probably abandoned because of being called out for false claim of being a nurse. Sheep Humper may have been abandoned too. Now Louise has claimed a medical degree. What’s next? @$$tronut or perhaps something in the jurisprudence field?

            1. The only reason Louise is claiming a medical degree is to try and make medical personnel look bad with her crass behavior. It’s not working…. alpha boy fails again.

  7. Spoiled, privileged, clueless and oblivious to their surroundings. Go try living in a third world country, whining cry babies. “My rights” lmao it’s a piece of cloth. I’m glad that a piece of cloth doesn’t upset me.

    1. You are a scientist???? Stool studies? Count seeds in. your poop? I’m confused because there have been zero Oregon child deaths from covid. In fact only 88 total deaths ever in Deschutes County. You look at those numbers Beaker???

        1. Ok Barney, thanks again for reiterating how stupid the mask mandate is for any school aged kid. 2 deaths???? Now, Ol’ Barns, post a link of Oregon kids that have died of influenza (not this year because influenza is counted as covid). Do a report on maybe 2018.

          1. Two deaths is two too many, particularly if you are a friend or family. It’s also not the only impact, which you and the other whiners conveniently overlook.

          2. Geez Louise! You’re pretty callous about kids dying no matter what the cause. You keep demanding links from others. You make allegations and yet, guess what – no links! Either put up or STFU!

  8. BTW Barney- I’m free to laugh at these fools all I want ! No one has died- these people failed to recall the Gov- this aint California- where they have Gavin N on the ropes ! Oregonians are now in a battle to gain back control of everything they lost- their civil liberties- their rights- freedoms- their political voices… and none of that violates the TOS !

    1. BUT……they can post ignorant crap that is trash to you with a “ROTFLMAO”. Or “LOL”. Or “HAHA”. But if you or I do it, our posts are deleted. BARNEY IS A OLD LOONEY HACK!!!! RETIRE YOU OLD FART!!! Can’t keep up with technology, science, or what is happening locally. Please don’t respond. thanks.

        1. You literally blocked posts because I said “lol” in my post. When I asked you said because people have died and that is not allowed. However, you allow liberal crap posts that are not only insulting they then post ROFLMAO, LOL, HAHA……but you allow that Barns. That is the problem. You are a left marxist pushing the agenda. AND you are doing a great job.

          1. Untrue. The LOL and similar comments from ANYONE aren’t allowed on the daily posts that list Oregon COVID-19-related deaths. Not on every COVID-19 post. I can prove to anyone if I must that the moderation decisions are not based on political viewpoint whatsoever. They are based on what’s said. I don’t care who says it. Great example comes to mind, UncleFester and whatever is ‘Herr Gropenfuhrer’ is current role. Not a conservative in the least. When he does it, they are deleted.

          1. I can and occasionally will defend myself against untrue allegations. I don’t all the time, but I don’t want anyone for a minute to think I’m afraid to defend myself, or in silence I am admitting to/agreeing with what’s said, even if it means not taking wise advice not to feed the trolls.

        2. Do you have a list of posts that you have blocked? Can you post that data for us just to see that the posts blocked are for the majority not left leaning Kate Brown loving liberals? OR…lemme guess, you can’t access that data? All that science and technology doesn’t work that way does it.

  9. Ok. I’m not being sarcastic. Can someone explain to me why they are protesting a school mask mandate when we currently have a statewide mask mandate? Doesn’t the statewide, indoor mask mandate mean all kids have to be masked, regardless of if the school district votes to wear them? It seems like a shelved battle to me. Maybe that is why only 20 people at their rally?

  10. All the studies I read is that kids are getting the COVID varient, but what is that? More contagious, but it goes without symptoms in younger people. So you are sick, but don’t feel or know it, you can transmit it to someone who may not feel sick, or show signs of sickness. How many young people have died? How many have died of the flu, that has seemed to go down to zero. This sounds a lot like influenza or the common cold/flu. Haven’t we had this for years? I have had the 2 shots, but what does that get me? I also get the yearly flu shot. And I still need to mask up?

    1. We are seeing more and more pediatric hospitalizations from this variant. They do not hospitalize just because someone tests positive. Oregon is not in some bubble isolated from the rest of the world. And just maybe, the flu levels went down because of social distancing, washing hands and wearing masks. So your rationalization is we need to wait until children start to die in greater numbers before we take any precautionary measures. Isn’t that how we got to this place in the first place?

    1. Hey B2B, how’s the reinstatement coming along? Guess the dates got mixed up…..again….but just keep contributing your hard earned money, I’m sure Melanie needs a new $10,000 designer purse.

  11. Folks with underlying conditions were getting along just fine until exposed. Ignorance has allowed the current wave to take hold and it is not yet done with Oregon and impacting youth. Perhaps if folks don’t mask and reduce the spread they should just take care of their own who become ill at home. The health care industry is overwheomed

    1. I see go fund me pages for some of the locals who’ve caught COVID-19 and are in St Charles ICU. I’m already paying for their unwillingness to get vaccinated and not wear a mask as local business is impacted, my access to needed health care is limited, I’ve family members who will not be able to go to school until those under 12 are vaccinated or at least masked. Yet people are blatantly choosing to risk each other because of politics. Same people who are vaccinated against polio, measles and more won’t get vaccinated now. Then they get sick and needlessly fill up our hospital, cost us all and then do go fund me pages.
      I do not understand how selfish we’ve become. Or at least parts of our society have become.

  12. Put seed in ground. Add water. And shut up. Teach kids the earth or shut it all down. Math is a liars way to steal. History is a manipulation tool. Teamwork is a collective mental disorder. It took teamwork to build a bridge and teamwork to pull out the dead bodies when it collapsed. Same with the twin towers in NY. Just about everything created by humans has killed people. Is wearing a mask any different? Who cares. Kids are forced to train to kill buy human creation anyway. Schools are murderers teaching murderers to kill for a talking box with moving pictures. And caviar for the rich. My life requires a mask sometimes so I know how it is. As long as the kids do nothing stressful they should be fine. Take it slow and easy. And any hint of dizziness take the mask off and breath heavy three times and wait a few minutes. If still dizzy call a healer. Just some friendly advice to those who do not care about earth and life. Please grow up people. We don’t have much time left to heal the world. Protesting has never done anything. Its wasted energy for pointless words.

  13. It’s really simple folks, just play along, your child is not going to die because they are wearing a mask to school! If you want your child to be educated by the public school system, for the greater good, NOT your individual bubble, your kid needs to wear a mask, otherwise keep your kid home and educate them yourself. Why is this so freaking hard for so many people, no one wants to wear a mask but c’mon! These stupid excused you all keep coming up with are ridiculous! Wear a mask or stay home. It’s not going to be forever, your kid’s education and socialization is not going to be lacking because they are wearing a mask. I guarantee all of your kids have cell phones that their faces are buried in most of the time, if you are truly concerned about your children perhaps look at all the other nonsensical things that are far more harmful: cell phones, social media, children dressing scantily, give me a freaking break!

  14. Covidiots still think that piece of cloth will make any difference. Instead of them staying home they want you to wear a mask to protect them. How ridiculously backwards it that!

  15. 1st of all, Mandates are not laws.

    Secondly, if you all want to not wear a mask, or your child refuses, then there are consequences. And that’s the right of the facility or school.
    We all have choices.
    Whining about your rights while hundreds of people have already died due to Covid is pathetic & individualistic and possibly the reason why we have variants now.

    Just because you’re alive, or you may have survived Covid, then cool story bro. But for the rest of us who just want this to be over and done with…we’re complying with no bitching and moaning…why? Because it takes people to come together for each other, it’s not about fear…

    Now forcing everyone to get the shot or vaccine, that’s a complaint worth fighting about. Injecting something into your skin should ALWAYS be a choice and your body is your right. These people fighting about rights, I bet you’d see them in front of Planned Parenthood, demanding you keep that baby lol.
    Anyway, it’s a mask, pick and choose your battles, there are more causes worth fighting for like Medicare for ALL where people have a right to free healthcare! Because I bet everyone who lost their jobs last year, also lost healthcare?!

    Maybe the school district needs to bring back at home learning then, if parents think this is their correct route, then bring hybrid learning, so those okay with masks can attend, and those who are fearful and have nothing else to do but gripe about rights, have the right to keep their kids at home learning from a computer…. just my opinion man.

  16. I’m not sure if this story sought out the dumbest person at the rally, or the smartest… but the carbon dioxide comment is beyond idiotic. I know that some people turn to social media for all of their political / medical / financial / spiritual / etc. advice, but when it comes to medical (in particular) it’s probably best to leave it up to the experts. Sometimes you should keep your mouth closed and let people assume you’re a fool, rather than open your mouth and prove it.

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