‘It Will Get Pretty Heated.’ Edmond parents show support for mask mandate ahead of Thursday’s school board meeting

Coronavirus

A typo in the original version has been corrected.

EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – Parents from one of the largest school districts in the state are being pushed to action after the school enacted a mask mandate for its students and staff. Many Edmond mothers say they’re now becoming more vocal than before to match the opposition.

One mother described last week’s meeting to KFOR, calling it “absolutely nuts.” Another said she has been going to school board meetings for years and had never seen anything like what she saw last week, adding this week’s meeting could “get out of hand.”

Some parents say they’re becoming more vocal after seeing those who oppose masks get the majority of the attention.

“If the story is that the district has made this big change, and that all of the parents are outraged, that’s not a complete story,” said Edmond Public Schools parent Sarah Carson.

She admits mask mandate supporters may not be as loud as the opposition but they’re still supporting the decision.

“There is actually a large group of people who feel very strongly on this side as well,” Carson said.

Edmond Public Schools became the latest district to implement a mask mandate. That mandate takes effect on Sept. 8 with the ability for parents to opt out their student for a medical, religious or personal objection.

Photo goes with story
A recent Edmond School Board meeting.

Micah James, also an Edmond parent, says she got inspired to speak after attending a meeting earlier this year. She agrees those who opposed masks were more vocal than those who supported them.

“The voice was getting louder then, and what I witnessed then was so vile I couldn’t keep quiet anymore,” James said.

This will be her first time to speak at a school board meeting, adding, “I’m a little anxious at Thursday’s meeting because of what happened at last week’s meeting.”

That emergency meeting last week included a vote to give the superintendent control of COVID protocol.

One mother shared with KFOR a video clip from that meeting showing people yelling and arguing over a potential mask mandate.

That mother told us she left early because she was afraid they’d approach her in the parking lot, and she thinks it will be worse this week.

“[Edmond Police were] there at the last one and I think they need to be there to keep the peace on this one,” she said in a Facebook message.

There are others who are nervous that things could get out of hand. Carson says the school district knows there will be opposition. And that’s why many moms now feel obligated to show up. One school board member even sent this email to a parent, saying, “We know the board meeting will be filled with angry parents” and to consider attending to show support.

“They know that they’re going to have some angry, angry people there,” Carson said. “I think that it’s important for them and it’s important for the whole community to see that there are parents that support this.”

Some parents support the mask mandate but don’t feel comfortable with going to Thursday’s school board meeting due to safety concerns. Instead, they will be doing a rally outside of the building to show their support, with many planning to honk their car horns for one full minute to show support from the parking lot.

KFOR reached out to Edmond Public Schools and parents who opposed the mask mandate. One parent told News 4 many who are upset with the decision aren’t necessarily against masks, but they’re against any district taking “medical freedom” away from the parents. The district was unavailable for an interview due to the holiday.

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