‘Not willing to wait’: Protesters want Molalla River SD to drop mask mandate now

Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 1:15 PM PST
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MOLALLA, Ore. (KPTV) - Protesters want the Molalla River School District to drop its mask mandate now, even though the district announced it would be dropping it weeks before the end of the state mandate on March 31.

Making masks optional at schools is an urgent matter for some parents and students in Molalla.

“Not willing to wait two more weeks, not willing to wait until March 31,” parent Kim White said.

During a school board meeting Thursday, the district announced that masks in schools would be optional come March 3. Board members said state funding may be suspended during the time they’re out of compliance with the law, which would be until the state mandate ends on March 31.

One student protester, Cameron Celig, said that wasn’t of concern to him.

“No price can be put on my rights. I’m willing to die for my rights, and that’s the end of that,” Celig said.

Celig said he participated in protests at Molalla High School on Wednesday and Thursday. The district said the protests disrupted learning and made it hard to keep students safe, which is why they canceled classes at all schools Friday.

Celig and White had a different recollection of what happened.

“It was a barbeque out in the front of the school, so I don’t know what was scary about that,” Celig told FOX 12.

“It was a knock on the door, a couple knocks on windows, and that is it,” White said.

'Not willing to wait': Protesters want Molalla River SD to drop mask mandate now
'Not willing to wait': Protesters want Molalla River SD to drop mask mandate now(KPTV)

Celig said he will continue to protest until masks are optional at schools.

Another student FOX 12 spoke with said he also would like to stop wearing a mask, but said he will continue to comply with current mandates.

“I would like if they were gone, but I’m okay with it,” the student said.

The district’s decision to make masks optional on March 3 may violate agreements with the teachers union. If so, they could challenge it.