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Board of Education meeting turns chaotic over continued school mask mandate

By Jeremy Lee

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    HONOLULU, Hawaii (KITV) — As the Board of Education heard public testimony, the proceedings devolved into chaos over Hawaii’s continued mask mandate of school children.

Two recesses were called due to commotion following the BOE’s interview of contenders for the state’s School Superintendent post.

Frustration hit a boiling point for parents and activists who say despite repeated emails and requests to meet with Superintendent Keith Hayashi, the DOE has never considered adverse effects of the extended mask mandate on school children.

The meeting was temporarily suspended before 3pm. Some testifying on behalf of soon to be appointed super-intendent Keith Hayashi, were heckled. Why did the proceedings devolve the way they did?

“The board of education is not elected. And the parents have gotten a taste of not having a voice in anything. They have tried knocking on the Superintendent’s door and emailing him, and he has been unresponsive,” Cynthia Bartlett of Moms for Liberty told KITV 4, “And this is what you get when you don’t respond to the people. Because the parents are the greatest stake holder, even more than the teacher’s union.”

Mayoral Candidate Cullen Bell flew in from Maui to say he pulled his son out of the public school system and has opted for home schooling. “You know, I couldn’t bring myself to send my son to school for 7 hours a day. It should always be a parental choice.”

Recently, a group of UCSF Physicians came forth, calling cloth mask mandates ineffective, based on flaws in the CDC’s study and a new control trial study out of Denmark.

Parents at the protest say it makes sense in regards to kids.

“They’re always touching it and it gets contaminated. It’s all theater. I guess it makes some people feel better,” a mother named Jessica told KITV.

In a statement to KITV, the Hawaii Department of Health, which advises the DOE on school masking policy wrote,

“Many school districts across the U.S. are reinstating indoor mask mandates. Boston, Pittsburgh, and Portland Maine for example have reinstated indoor mask requirements because of the surge in cases.

We have relayed material explaining our position. Our goal is to protect children and maintain in-person learning.

We have seen case counts climb for seven consecutive weeks. We hope more people exercise caution by wearing masks indoors and that our current surge soon subsides.”

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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