Gwinnett County Public Schools parents protest over new masks requirement for students

Some parents and their kids are fired up right now over the new mask mandate on a local school district.

Dozens of people gathered outside the Gwinnett County Public Schools headquarters to express their frustration and demand the option to choose.

The school district announced the new mandate earlier this week after initially saying masks would be optional.

"Unmask our children," the parents chanted in unison Friday. 

SEE ALSO: Dr. Calvin Watts formally named CEO, superintendent of Gwinnett County Schools

It was a passionate but stern message parents, their kids, and their supporters were trying to send.

"There's more of us than them," parent Courtney Taylor told the crowd. "Let us not forget that we the people have the power in this nation."

The power, they believe, to refuse the school district's mask mandate that was announced earlier this week.

"This has nothing to do with science. It's all about politics and they're using our kids as pawns," one parent said. 

SEE ALSO: New CDC study details cluster of breakthrough infections tied to July Fourth celebrations

District leaders came to that conclusion following the latest guidance from the CDC that suggests all teachers and students wear a face covering.

GCPS said they're also taking into account current conditions, the rise in COVID-19 case rates in Gwinnett County, and the ineligibility of children under the age of 12 to get vaccinated.

"With the numbers being up, what does that exactly mean," Sheri Mitchell, a mother of two GCPS students, asked. "I don't see the numbers as being that high. When you see the numbers, we're gonna have to live with COVID in our communities, Just like the flu goes up. The flu numbers are gonna go up each year." 

The young kids we spoke with admit it's disappointing.

"I think it's ridiculous," 6th grader Jasmine Ghiurau described. "It's honestly like so annoying. We come back from P.E or recess and we have to wear our mask in the hallway and you can't breathe." 

SEE ALSO: State Sen. says Georgia can do more to get people vaccinated

"It's very distracting for my ADHD to feel things on my face and have trouble breathing and get anxiety and everything," student Amaya Lore said. 

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones spoke out against the mandate, calling on Governor Brian Kemp to step up.

"The governor can sign an executive order sending a strong message to all 159 county school systems, 'no longer will it be required for a child to wear that mask'," Jones explained. 

Some parents said they will bite the bullet and have their kids mask up come August 4th, others plan to remove their children from GCPS.

"I do feel like they're infringing out our rights as citizens," Mitchell mentioned. 

The organizers of the protest said they've filed a lawsuit against the school district. Parents will have until August 2 to decide if their child will learn in-person or virtually.

To find out more on the vaccine as well as where to get it, click here.

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