‘Get a voice out’: Mt. Spokane High School students protest mask mandate

Mt. Spokane High

MEAD, Wash. — Some Washington students who protested the mask mandate said it needs to be lifted now.

That’s why more than 150 students at Mt. Spokane High School protested the mandate on Friday.

Next week, Governor Inslee is expected to announce the date mask mandates will be lifted but frustrated students want the option now.

“It can be really difficult when it comes to breathing with them because you can get really lightheaded even with PE and stuff, and advanced sports,” said the organizer of the protest. “And it can be irritating to the face.”

Students used Instagram and word of mouth to gain traction. The protest organizer explained she wanted to be involved.

“I’d rather people have their own choice in whether or not to face cover but for a while, even before then I thought it’d be pretty fun to do, like get there, get a voice out because people don’t listen to us when it comes to this choice,” she said.

The protest which started outside, ended up inside contained in the auditorium. The organizer said the school only allowed students who complied back inside the classroom.

Collin Ronan didn’t know his daughter was participating until he got a phone call asking him to bring pizzas. The protesting students pooled together $115 for the pizza which Ronan brought.

“I was surprised, but at the same time not really surprised,” Ronan said. “I mean, it’s about time kids started to stand up for themselves. I hope that it carries on to other schools and they feel the same way and stand up for their rights.”

Mead School Board Member for District 4 Michael Cannon supports the protest.

“Protests like this send a loud message not just from the school administration, but from the students themselves that they have an opinion,” he said. “Their school experience has been impacted by these mandates.”

Cannon said 70 percent of the community is against the mandate including the school board.

“The decision doesn’t happen at our level, we didn’t make those decisions,” he said. “We’re caught between the state being super heavy-handed, saying if you don’t do this there will be dire consequences and we’ll take your money and close your schools. Yet, at the same time, now they’re starting to say we do want masks to be optional, and we’re stuck in the middle of the state sending mixed messages, and we’re hoping within the few next days it resolves itself.”

The protest organizer said they are planning to continue the protests next week.

RELATED: Parents, students protest mask mandate at Tonasket School District

RELATED: Schools, educators and parents torn on state’s mask mandate removal in class