The school board in Rochester, Minnesota, followed through on its commitment to ban parents who don’t wear masks in the name of COVID-19 prevention at its last meeting.
The man, who remains unnamed according to local media, was escorted from the board room where a police officer was waiting to give him a citation. At the end of last month, Rochester Public Schools (RPS) unveiled a mask policy that forces everyone at school board meetings to wear an “effective” face mask. What makes a face mask effective is not defined.
Despite this, a Rochester man discovered how far the district is willing to go in enforcing its mask rule during last week’s school board meeting when he was booted from the building, banned from all district property for one year, and cited by Rochester police. It is unclear if this man has a child in a Rochester school or how such a ban might impact his ability to pick up any children he might have from school or attend their sporting events and concerts.
“These things do not work, take them off our kids,” the man declared as he was escorted out of the meeting by two armed police officers and a small entourage of concerned district employees.
As the man was handed his citation, a school official looked on with her mask pulled below her nose and upper lip, allowing her to breathe unfiltered air through both her nose and mouth. This may have contributed to the spread of COVID-19, according to the district’s line of reasoning.
“I’m medically exempt [from wearing a mask],” the man explained to a small crowd after he was removed from the meeting. “I don’t know how I can get trespassed on public grounds when I’m medically exempt from [wearing a mask].”
“I would like an explanation why I’m being trespassed on public grounds when I’m medically exempt,” he said, although no clear explanation was provided.
Last week’s board meeting also featured statements from several other concerned community members who expressed their opposition to masks. At the beginning of the meeting, School Board Chair Jean Marvin declared that the school district honors the “sacred” indigenous land it sits on.
“The board acknowledges [that] this site and all RPS sites are situated on the ancestral land of the Dakota people and we honor the Dakota nations and the sacred land of all indigenous peoples,” she said.