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Students in Douglas County stage walkouts Wednesday morning in protest of mask mandate

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Posted at 4:40 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 19:53:05-04

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — It was a morning of protests for a few schools in Douglas County with students calling for an end to the mask mandate.

Some of the loudest voices were heard at Thunder Ridge High School.

"These people agree with me. They hate masks, and I do too," said Thunder Ridge student Cole Bradley of the students behind him.

Students walked out of class around 9:30 Wednesday, demanding an end to masks in class. This comes two days after the Tri-County Health Department issued a new mask order for all students and staff from pre-school to 12th grade.

"I believe that masks, they’ve been going from mostly two years now, this is going to be the third year of my high school career that’s compromised. I want a normal high school career there. If you are scared you could stay home," said student Austin Knapp.

Thunder Ridge High School students were joined by Ranch View Middle School students and their parents.

"There’s enough parents, and there’s enough scientific data to show otherwise, that this is just not a necessary option that they have to take, and there are enough students that feel the same way," said parent Amy Ellis.

Around the same time, students at Legend High School took to the streets. As kids on the back of pickups held anti-mask signs.

Douglas County Schools tells Denver7 "The Douglas County School District continues to balance the challenges of the ongoing COVID pandemic. We will follow the recent public health order issued by the Tri-County Health Department, which requires all students and staff in preschool through twelfth-grade to wear a mask while inside school buildings. Additionally, we will work with our families and staff members who cannot tolerate a mask due to medical or mental health reasons. Our goal is to keep our students and staff in the classroom for in-person learning."

Tri-County Health tells us "We understand that some parents and students are frustrated and disagree with the mask requirement, but masks provide protection and prevent the spread of disease which allows students to remain in school where they learn best."