N.Y. School Board Photographed Unmasked Inside for Legislative Event, Parents Livid

New York’s parents are fed up with Gov. Hochul’s never-ending mask mandate, which only seems to affect children in schools and not the politicians insisting on it. Not only has Hochul been photographed inside schools without a mask on, but now school board members in Monroe County have been photographed violating the mask mandate at an indoor legislative breakfast–and parents are livid.

As soon as parents began criticizing Jen Lunsford, a state assemblywoman, for not seeing how tone-deaf and hypocritical unmasked officials are, she posted a ridiculous explanation: “We took off our masks for 30 seconds while the photo was taken. You can see other masked individuals in the background.”

But that stupid excuse was a lie. Photographs from the rest of the event show people sitting at tables, without food, while learning barefaced. Parents descended on her social media accounts demanding to know why their kids can’t learn in the same way as their administrators.

PJ Media reached out to parents in Monroe County for their response to school administrators being allowed to disobey the mask mandate when their kids are being suspended from school for the same actions. None of them wanted to be identified due to the retaliation that has been happening to anyone who tries to speak out against the schools. A mom from Penfield told PJ Media, “I’m saddened and disgusted to see Penfield board members unmasked at an event over the weekend. Our children sit in school, masked all day, every day while board members and government officials are inside at a meeting without masks. We need these board members and officials to advocate for our children. Instead, they are showing parents that the rules don’t apply to them, only our poor children.”

Another mom in Penfield shared with PJ Media how upset he was.

Our children have continued to bear the brunt of this entire pandemic. Meanwhile we are consistently seeing photos of leaders at the Community, State, and National level not adhering to the same rules imposed on our children. They are forced to sit in a mask for 8+/hours a day, often with no breaks. They are forced to participate in PE and sports fully masked, while adults and professional athletes are not required to mask up during practices and games. Kids’ socialization has been severely cut off and they are suffering emotionally. They are not responsible for the health and well-being of grown adults. It’s time to let our kids off the hook now and allow for mask-optional in school settings.

“Our Boards volunteer their time and deserve to be comfortably unmasked while they work and learn. But so do our children,” said a father in Fairport. “I am no longer willing to accept this double standard. It’s time to let kids go mask optional in school so they can have the same comfort and access to an unimpeded learning environment that our Boards enjoy.”

Lunsford tried damage control by posting a too-long explanation on Facebook claiming school boards don’t have any power. This is a false claim as other counties in New York have declared masks optional after the Supreme Court declared the mandate unconstitutional and unenforceable.

Lunsford’s response tried to split the baby and claim that she understands both sides of the argument and is working to end masking.

I want to take a moment to address the anger expressed here on this page yesterday. This is a bit of a long post so please bear with me. Yesterday I spent some time with members of the Monroe County School Board at a legislative breakfast discussing the many challenges our schools have faced over the past two years. This was a group of people, taking time on a weekend, to work together to try to fix problems. Among the things we discussed was the mask policy, a policy no one in that room had unilateral control to fix…

At this breakfast, I shared with the table a conversation I had recently with the New York Medical College and two pediatricians on that call who believe once the Omicron surge passes that we can move towards unmasking. This is something I am going to discuss with the Governor next week. Everyone in attendance at yesterday’s event agreed that we cannot mask forever and that we need to find a clearly defined and reasonable set of parameters to use to determine when we can stop using masks in school. Everyone in attendance expressed frustration at the State’s inconsistent and contradictory policy shifts, including me, as these directives don’t come from the legislature and I find out about them when you do. Everyone wants to work towards a quick and safe end to this policy…

The thing that really angered many of you was that the picture I posted showed myself and the people at my table without a mask on. This was a breakfast, so there was a mask policy that required masking at all times except when seated and eating. There were a few minutes at the beginning of the event when some people and some tables were unmasked while eating, and then their masks went back on.

But the problem with this statement is that the elite politicians making these decisions have ended the mandate for themselves (as is clear through photographs of them cavorting maskless around town) while expecting you to continue masking your kids despite all the downsides to their mental health and speech development. Data shows there has been no significant difference in COVID transmission between schools that mask and schools that don’t. Time magazine just ran this editorial yesterday with a stunning takedown of masking policy.

There is no significant evidence that the kind of masking (i.e. non-medical) that is common in schools is worth it. An Arizona study frequently cited by CDC director Rochelle Walensky as evidence for continued masking in schools has been thoroughly dismantled. More and more experts have concluded that the evidence for masks in schools doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. There are several studies that show a minimal reduction in COVID-19 transmission with masks in schools, but the results were not statistically significant. Moreover, most of these studies do not account for Covid-19 vaccinations in adults and none of them take into account vaccinated children. According to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 18.8% of children in the 5-11 age group are fully vaccinated, and 28.1% have received one dose. In vaccinated children, the flu poses more danger than COVID-19.

But if you question why the elites don’t follow their own rules that they claim are “life-saving,” they gaslight you and tell you they were wearing masks when photographs show they weren’t. It’s time for us parents to stand up to the hypocrites playing political games with our children. Enough is enough. If they can take off their masks, you can unmask your kids.

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