About 100 people gathered at Martin Dock in the pouring rain on Friday morning to attend a âUnmask Our Childrenâ rally.
Led by Longview School Board member Crystal Moldenhauer, several political candidates and teachers spoke of the need to stand up to local school boards to make masks optional at school.
A small group of counter-protesters were also present at the 1.5-hour rally, and while a few rally participants spoke with the counter-protesters, the exchange remained non-violent.
Last week, the state released COVID-19 mitigation guidelines for the fall, which include mandatory mask wear and full-time in-person options.
State Superintendent Chris Reykdal said any school districts that do not comply will lose state funding.
Schools that flout mask mandates will lose state funding
âCouncils or districts that intentionally disobey, reject, or avoid explicit law, including a decree of the governor, who has the power of law, will see an immediate halt in their allocation of basic education and their federal funds which go through OSPI, âReykdal said in an email to school districts.
State mandates are not at the discretion of local school boards or superintendents, he reiterated in the email.
State Representative for the 19th District, Jim Walsh, said, âWe should never cut funding to schools; have they lost their minds?