‘We just want a choice.’ Parents opposed to mask mandates in schools gather in Fargo

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – Parents and grandparents opposed to mask mandates in schools came together Tuesday evening in Fargo.

They gathered at a private event titled “Show Faces For Freedom” and say they should be the ones making decisions related to their kids’ health, not school board members.

“We’re not saying that we don’t want any masks or nobody can wear masks, you know, we just want a choice,” said Carly Bjornstad of Fargo.

Bjornstad is a mother of four kids ranging from 12 to 17 years old.

“My 15-year-old is a sophomore and he hates them. Not so much this year but last year, he had headaches every single day. Came home tired, horrible headaches, would want to go right to bed, horrible mood, so that was fun for all of us. And, I’m going to assume it’s from being in a mask all day long because he wasn’t like that previously,” she recalled.

Bjornstad says she doesn’t agree with the way the Fargo School Board has handled things during the pandemic. She’s not the only one.

A local group dedicated to supporting parents who want to advocate for their children brought people together at the Hilton Garden Inn on 17th Avenue South.

Reporters were not allowed inside the meeting but founder of “Let Parents Decide That” Cassie Schmidt says it’s about parents coming together in person and voicing their opinions in a safe space.

“We’re really here to just bring families together when they really need it,” Schmidt says.

The group has nearly 2,000 members on Facebook.

“It really has taken off with these mandates,” Schmidt says.

She and others attending the meeting say it all boils down to freedom.

“I really believe that they’re stealing our freedom under the guise of public safety,” she adds. “Our biggest stance is that if a mask is being used to prevent or to mitigate the spread of an illness, it’s being used obviously for a medical purpose. It’s a physical apparatus being used for a medical purpose, it becomes a medical device. Medical devices require medical consent. We did not elect the school board or hire the superintendent or put anyone else in charge over the medical decisions that we make as parents regarding our children.”

Face coverings are required in Fargo and Moorhead Public Schools. They are recommended at West Fargo Public Schools.

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus-MN, Coronavirus-ND, Health, Local News, Minnesota News, Moorhead, North Dakota News