On April 19th Arizona Governor Doug Ducey lifted the mask mandate in Arizona public schools, many parents breathed a sign of relief…. And then nothing happened. By and large, school administrators and local boards of education were instead empowered to keep or rescind any mask mandates already in place. Most school boards and schools terrified of winding up on the 11 o’clock news have kept the muzzles on.
“Teachers, families and students have acted responsibly to mitigate the spread of the virus and protect one another, and our school leaders are ready to decide if masks should be required on their campuses,”
Gov. Ducey said in a statement according to azcentral. Of course the likes of AZCentral’s Laurie Roberts are giving him nothing but grief even for this small, TOKEN, INEFFECTUAL move.
The parents of Vail, Arizona however, were not amused by the petty political word-games.
Arizona Parents Rebel
Vail is a small Census-designated-place southeast of Tucson. The Vail School District Board of Governors was set to meet on April 27th a nearly a full two weeks after the mask mandate was ‘lifted’ and hundreds of parents had seen no action. So they decided to take action themselves.
What Tuscon.com called “A couple of hundred people, most not wearing masks” rallied at the Vail Education Center. The group of parents turned up at about 5:30 PM before the start of the meeting, and the Board only got about halfway through their agenda before angry parents burst into the meeting room.
District officials told ABC15 that after they called 911 and four Deputies with a Sergeant showed up at the scene in about one minute, they were instructed by one of the officers ” to adjourn the study session because the crowd was uncontrollable.”
However, Pima County Sherriff Chris Nanos told the ABC affiliate that just wasn’t true and that the board chose to cancel the meeting “on their own and crowd control was not an issue.” The board meeting was scheduled for 7PM, it never happened.
Tuscon.com reports that, “The crowd eventually left after “electing” their own board who “voted” to rescind district policies.”
While the legality of the “election” is quetionable (EVERY Election is questionable now anyway), the sybolic victory here is obvious.
However, the Vail School District serves about 12,000 students according to their website, has 1,900 employees, 6 High Schools, 7 Middle Schools, 11 Elementary Schools, 1 Pre-School and 1 College.
Unfortunately, a few hundred angry parents will likely just force the board meetings to cease to be publicly accessible and no real change will take place until the next election. But if these parents can organize, and keep up the pressure perhaps they can help the existing board see the error of their ways.
Video from KGUN9: