Chicago High School Students Protest Mask Mandates

On Monday, teenagers in Chicago’s Community High School District 128 walked out of school to protest mask mandates. Dozens of students from Vernon Hills High School and Libertyville High School protested the district’s decision. Their district is continuing to mandate masks for all students and staff, even after a local judge overruled the order.

Raylene Grischow, the Sangamon County Circuit Judge, issued a temporary ruling against Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s order to keep the mandates in place.  The judge ruled that the governor overstepped authority when he issued the emergency order.

When students arrived unmasked they were given three options: wear a mask, sit in the gymnasium, or leave the campus. Students refused to wear masks and instead left the school. The students tweeted:

“Most of us in this group have spent most of our high school lives behind these masks. We believe it is time for this to end. We want to be free of these masks. We want to see each other’s faces. We want to bring back a sense of normalcy and enjoy what is left of our high school years.”

Students reiterated that they respected individual choice for those students who wished to continue wearing masks. Several districts surrounding this one changed their policy to make masks optional. This does not include the Chicago Public School district, which will keep the mandate in place.

Even with the protests, District 128 notes it will continue to require students to wear masks.

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