LHS students skip class to protest masks
Unfounded rumors of vandalism and a physical altercation are not true, a district spokesperson says.
About 40-50 Laramie High School students skipped class this morning, joining some 30-40 parents in front of the school to protest the mask mandate now in place until mid-October.
The protest outside lasted about 30 minutes, a district spokesperson said, beginning around 10 a.m.
About 10-20 students could be seen later on the intersection of Grand Avenue and Boulder Drive — the closest major intersection to Laramie High School. They held signs reading “ACSD1 has failed us!” and “Honk for Choice.”
Several drivers heading both directions on Grand Avenue laid on the horn, each time to cheers from the picketing students.
School District Spokesperson Sean O’Sullivan said there was “nothing of substance” to rumors of vandalism or physical altercations, which began circulating after the protest.
“Outside of the walkout, there’s been no other disruptions in learning today,” O’Sullivan said. “No physical altercations, no vandalism, nothing like that related to the protest. Just a few maybe snarky words between passersby, but nothing happened with that at all.”
The mask mandate is set to expire Oct. 15 if it is not renewed before then. The mandate could also be revisited and reevaluated by the school board if transmission levels in Albany County drop, or vaccination rates go up.
Masks are highly effective at reducing the transmission of COVID-19 and the CDC recommends wearing masks indoors in areas of high transmission, such as in Albany County. As some scientists warned during the school board’s meeting Wednesday — failure to mask up in the classroom can lead to outbreaks and mass quarantines.