Frustrated parents steal the show at committee meeting over COVID mandates

A large group of parents showed up at the House Health and Welfare Committee meeting to try and convince lawmakers the mandates in schools are wrong.
Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 10:46 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2021 at 6:44 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - What was supposed to be a public forum for updates from LDH and university presidents on the latest COVID numbers, quickly turned into high emotions and discourse.

Fed up with the idea of sending their kids to school with a mask and scared for their freedom, a large group of parents showed up at Monday’s House Health and Welfare Committee meeting to try and convince lawmakers the latest mandates in schools are wrong.

Before things began, folks were firmly asked to put on a mask. All of this, even though several committee members didn’t have their masks on, which caused things to get out of hand quickly.

The meeting was supposed to be focused on data from LDH and what universities are doing with that information. But the meeting was ultimately hijacked by outraged parents demanding their voices be heard.

“This is the first step they are going to mandate this vaccine and let me tell you something else, they are going to take all of our freedoms,” shouted one parent in the audience before she was asked to leave.

“It’s child abuse, it’s not right...and I don’t want my kids sitting in a classroom for seven hours a day wearing a mask,” another parent told the committee members.

Some lawmakers shared similar concerns from parents, saying the reactions we’re seeing are a result of poor messaging from the top down, resulting in people losing trust in our officials.

“I do think that when we begin to have these discussions, I think our people if they are to have confidence in us, we have to ask these questions. I’m not anti, I’m not necessarily trying to pose to be an irritant, but I do think we just gotta begin to be straight with the people as best we can,” said State Rep. Rick Edmonds (R) of Baton Rouge.

Parents from all over the state waited to tell lawmakers what they expect from them.

“Y’all are sitting here talking to this so-called doctor who doesn’t have any studies to provide for ya’ll, no studies,” another parent told the committee.

Parents will have another opportunity to express their concerns on Wednesday morning at 9 am at the Department of Education building.

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