SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — For the hundred and fifty people at the Million Unmasked March in Springfield, following a mask mandate is equivalent to giving up their rights.
The crowd made up of parents and even teachers all agree that requiring kids to wear masks to school is inhumane and cruel.
“I don’t see why we need to put them in masks and give them the potential for psychological problems down the road,” Michael Rebresh, organizer of the march said. “And of course the potential of giving them more health problems down the road.”
Rebresh believes that keeping kids socially distanced from each other will lead to those psychological issues, and thinks kids will bully each other based on the quality of their masks.
Rebresh said he isn’t opposed to others wearing masks, but believes others should have the choice not to wear one.
The march also drew some counter protesters. Trevor Good, a junior at Glenwood High School, came out after one of the school’s board members advertised the march.
“Well nearly every viralogist agrees that it is the safest way that kids can return to school, and i want to return to school, but with the stipulation that everyone wear a mask,” Good said. “It’s overwhelmingly clear. The safest way to go back to school is with a mask.”
One of the people marching was arrested by Springfield police after she spit on a counter protestor.
The protestor was holding a sign saying, “Where are the other 999,000.”
The mask mandate is meant to protect both children and staff when they return to school.
Masks are found to slow the spread of the virus, and keep undiagnosed or asymptomatic kids or staff from spreading it around the school.
But Rebresh doesn’t see the point in that.
“Asymptomatic, if i am asymptomatic, and you make that call, and i assume you are asymptomatic, if we are both asymptomatic, then why are we even wearing masks. We already got it,” Rebresh said.
Representative Darren Bailey and his attorney Tom DeVore spoke at the march as well.
They echoed the claims that the mask mandate violates their rights as Americans.