Story at a glance:

  • Back-to-school events are becoming more tense.
  • Police are called in to guard school meetings and students during classes.
  • These fights are over mask mandates, which the majority of people approve.

There is a mask war taking place at Eanes Independent School District in Austin, Texas, where anti-masking parents are going against teachers and schools following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control Prevention.

NPR reports a series of incidents from schools across the nation. 

In one case, a parent ripped a mask off of a teacher’s face during a back-to-school event at Eanes Independent School District in Austin, Texas. 


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Superintendent Tom Leonard told NPR, "I just do not want the mask wars occurring in my schools." 

"I don't want my principals and teachers and bus drivers dedicating any of their limited bandwidth to fighting with either parents or kids," he added. “Take it outside." 

NPR also reports on how school districts in California, Illinois and New York are experiencing similar fights and issues. 

"This is everywhere," Leonard told NPR.

The police have been ordered to stand guard at school board meetings in Nevada and Pennsylvania; and sheriff deputies in Colorado were called in for the first day of classes to make sure protests did not disrupt classes, NPR reports.  

There was disruption at a Salt Lake City board meeting where some of the protesters now face criminal charges, according to NPR.

"Somewhere along the line this got politicized. Somewhere along the line, some people decided to fight the battles in our schools. ... We have other things to focus on," Leonard told NPR.

Most Americans favor schools enforcing masks, according to a recent Axios-Ipsos poll that shows 69 percent approve mandates.

Democrats are 92 percent in favor compared to 44 percent of Republicans.

“This data shows that public policy and public health is continuously challenged by our politics today,” Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs told Axios.


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Published on Aug 21, 2021