As School District 2's latest mask mandate takes effect a day before the 2021-22 school year begins, parents, teachers, and others concerned about the mandate met this Sunday afternoon to discuss how they will handle opening day on Monday.
"I don't usually get emotional but this is for my kids," Luke Hudson, Making Masking Optional administrator said. "I believe really passionately and so do you."
Hundreds gathered together in Pioneer Park before splitting off into different groups.
Hudson says the group is not against masking, but wants parents to be able to make the decision themselves on whether or not their child wears one.
"We believe that private health care decisions like masking children is a right for the parents to make privately," Hudson said. "We believe that the school district does not have the ability to mandate masks on our children. But based on the constitution of the state, Article 10 section 1, that we are guaranteed an equal education under the law. And we believe that there are no conditions attached to that article. And so that is what we're rallying for today."
Arictle X, Section 1 of the Montana Constitucion states: "It s the goal of the people to establish a system of education which will develop the full educational potential of each person. Equality of educational opportunity is guaranteed to each person of the state."
Information about Superintendent Greg Upham's announcement of the mask requirement and his letter can be found in the KTVQ story run on Saturday.