A fed-up Georgia mother read the riot act to the Gwinnett County Board of Education last week and demanded that the members end the COVID-19 mask mandate for students that has been extended through next year, Fox News reported.
Video of Courtney Ann Taylor's fiery comments to the board at its April 15 meeting have gone viral.
"Every month I come here, and I hear the same thing: 'social emotional health.' If you truly mean that, you would end the mask requirement tonight," Taylor said.
What else did she say?
Taylor added that it's been over a year since life shut down over the pandemic, every adult in Georgia is eligible to receive vaccines — and most importantly, children aren't adversely affected by the coronavirus.
"Every one of us knows that young children are not affected by this virus. They're not!" she told the board, adding that it's "a blessing."
"But as the adults, what have we done with that blessing?" Taylor continued. "We've shoved it to the side and we've said, 'We don't care. You're still gonna wear a mask on your face every day … You still can't play together on the playground like normal children … We don't care. We're still going to force you to carry a burden that was never yours to carry.' Shame on us!"
She tearfully added that her 6-year-old daughter — a kindergartner — is weary of the mask requirement, and it has to end.
"It's April 15, 2021, and it's time!" Taylor said. "Take these masks off of my child!"
She added that citizens voted for the school board members — and not for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We chose you to make decisions that would be in our children's best interest," Taylor told the board. "Enforcing 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9-year-old little children to cover their noses and their mouths — where they breathe — for seven hours a day, every day for the last nine months for a virus that you know doesn't affect them! That is not in their best interest!"
Before stepping away from the microphone, she added that "this has to stop. Defend our children ... Take these off of our children."
'No end in sight'
Taylor also spoke to Fox News after her address and said that there seems to be "no end in sight" to the mask mandate, and that it's "heartbreaking."
She added that "kindergarten is supposed to be fun," and that it's where students learn social norms, cues, and skills such as resolving conflict.
"I don't see how any of the children can really do that and have a real childhood right now," she said.
Taylor added to Fox News that she's received a lot of support since her comments went viral and that "it's not OK to put our children through something that we disagree with like this."
The cable network added that she's started a change.org petition demanding that Gwinnett County Public Schools make masks optional for children.
"It is the parent's responsibility to make health decisions for their children," the petition reads, according to Fox News. "The parents decide which pediatrician they see and which vaccines they receive, so they also decide if their child is going to cover their nose and mouth. Stop trying to parent our children for us."
As of Thursday evening, the petition has reached nearly 900 signatures out of its goal of 1,000, the cable network said.
Fox News said the Gwinnett County school board didn't immediately respond to its request for comment.