Spokane principal who protested mask mandate resigns

Shane Odoherty
Credit: Spokane Public Schools

SPOKANE, Wash. – A Spokane principal who protested the state’s mask mandate has resigned from his role effective immediately. 

Shane O’Doherty was escorted out of Finch Elementary in November for refusing to wear a mask. Two other employees did the same and all of them have been on administrative leave since.

At that time, O’Doherty told families he chose to participate in the “peaceful protest” because of his “passion to help young people grow into great people.”

He expressed a belief that masks are causing a negative impact on communication between educators and teachers. 

O’Doherty sent the following statement to families on Friday following his resignation:

“I have decided it is in the best interest for me, and for Finch Elementary, to resign from
Spokane Public Schools and have chosen to explore other opportunities. I have enjoyed
the last four and half years working at Finch and am proud of the great work we have
accomplished together.

Finch has always had terrific students, hardworking staff members, and incredibly
supportive parents that make it an awesome school. I know it will continue that reputation
with its new leadership. Thank you again for welcoming me and supporting my time at
Finch. I hope the best for you all.”

Spokane Public Schools is required to enforce the state’s mask mandate. In August, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction announced that schools that do not follow the mandate could lose state funding.

Finch Elementary Resignation Letter by Erin Robinson on Scribd

READ: Finch Elementary principal explains why he protested mask mandate

READ: Spokane educator explains why she refused to wear a mask at Finch Elementary

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