The State of Mask Opposition

A+protest+organized+by+Shop+Mask+Free+Los+Angeles+rally+against+the+COVID+vaccine%2C+masks+and+lockdowns+at+Dodger+Stadium+on+Saturday%2C+Jan.+30%2C+2021+in+Los+Angeles.+%28Irfan+Khan%2FLos+Angeles+Times%2FTNS%29

A protest organized by Shop Mask Free Los Angeles rally against the COVID vaccine, masks and lockdowns at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021 in Los Angeles. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Kevin Aharrah, Design Staff

 It’s been four months since the initial “Unmask the Kids” protests took place alongside Highway 41 and at the Aug. school board meeting, drawing regional attention and attracting an unprecedented number of people.  The action continued for weeks.  For example, September’s live board meeting was cancelled due to an altercation in the spectator section, resulting in a virtual meeting later in the month.  But since then, the movement seems to have fallen out of the spotlight.  Bright red “Unmask the Kids” signs have largely disappeared from front lawns, and masks have remained mandatory in Lake Central schools without much disruptive complaint.

   There is more to it behind the scenes, however.  With the help of GoFundMe contributions, a group of parents calling themselves the “Lake Central Majority” has been planning to go to court for months.  More recently, on Nov. 24, this group of five parents officially filed a civil lawsuit against Lake Central School Corporation.  The outcome remains to be seen, but the plaintiffs hope to return mask usage to an optional status based on the seeming return to normal elsewhere.

   “I somewhat understand the protestors viewpoint – they want to return to the pre-COVID era, like we all do. Removing masks would remove the impression that we’re in a pandemic. However, I believe the masks are important to slow the spread of COVID, especially in such a large school. I disagreed with their goals of removing masks while the protests were happening. I’m not sure if mask policies will change, but if they do, I believe it’ll happen in the spring,” Eric Qian (11) said.