('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.