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School Mask Mandate Reactions

Students and staff in all Pennsylvania schools will have to wear masks come Tuesday.

But some parents in Centre County’s Philipsburg Osceola Area School District are speaking out about the decision.

“I’m a registered democrat but our governor…he’s come in and he’s trying to tell us how to live, he’s trying to take those choices from us.”

Cara Artiola says she has no problem with people wearing masks by choice but feels it can teach an important life lesson to kids to fight back.

“And as a parent, I fully support anyone who chooses to mask, who chooses not to mask but we have a governor saying you can’t do that, and I ask myself ‘what are we teaching our children?’ Are we teaching our children to just blindly follow tyranny out of fear…or can we teach them to how to make a healthy compromise, to look at a situation objectively and say ‘what is the best course for everyone because you’re never going to get everyone to agree.”

It’s why she and a group of parents are working on a way to protest the mandate.

“It is important for us to be fighting back under this particular circumstance because it is wrong for kids to be forced to put a mask on their face. There are kids that can’t do it for medical
reasons, there are kids that can’t do it for religious reasons, there are kids that can’t do it because they can’t breathe, um, this is not a one size fits all type of mandate.”

Centre County Senator and Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman is among those suing the state to try and get the mandate overturned, on the grounds that acting health secretary Allison Beam failed to comply with state law.

The Philipsburg Osceola parents admit they can’t overturn the law themselves, but they say they’re standing their ground on principle.

“This country was founded on the principles of fighting tyranny, we were…we were founded on, you know, inalienable rights, the power of choice, the, the freedom of speech, all of these wonderful

“I don’t really know what we’re hoping for as a group. I think we just want to get a group of like minded people together to find out what they want. Do they just want to make sure that we’re heard by the school board? We can’t overturn a law. I’ve reached out to the school board, I know they’re afraid of, you know, consequences by not following this mask mandate.”

Specific punishments for ignoring the mandate were not specified by the governor’s office.

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