Protests Outside Malden DESE Headquarters Over School Masks

Anti-mask mandate gathered outside the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Headquarters in Malden on Tuesday to protest a potential mask mandate in Massachusetts schools this year. Photo: James Rojas/WBZ NewsRadio

MALDEN, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — As the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education was voting to allow a mask mandate in the state's schools this year on Tuesday, more than a hundred people protested outside.

The bulk of the protestors were anti-mask, carrying signs that read "Unmask the kids!" and chanting "We will not comply!" — though the Board voted 9-1 Tuesday morning to allow Commissioner Jeff Riley to put a mandate in place.

"I'm not shocked at all, I knew that that was coming," said Jennifer Wilson from Spencer, saying she thinks "people should have choices with their children."

Wilson said she's homeschooling her children "until this nonsense stops,"

A smaller group of less than a dozen mask mandate supporters also showed up. "We're here to make sure the other side, the side of people that believe in vaccines, that believe in masks, is heard," said James from Malden, one of the counter-protestors.

"For them, this is a way to just win a victory, and they don't care if the school system has to close down again," he said.

The protest remained generally peaceful with some shouting as several Malden police officers stood by — though one of the anti-mask protestors was not pleased to see the media at the protest, cursing at a WBZ NewsRadio reporter and pushing his microphone away.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) has more:

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Written by Chaiel Schaffel

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