GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn calls NC school district mask mandate 'psychological child abuse'

North Carolina GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn on Thursday spoke against a school mask mandate during a school boarding meeting, equating it to child abuse.

Cawthorn was among those who showed up to protest the Buncombe County Schools Board of Education's decision to put a mask requirement in place for the upcoming school year. The measure, passed Thursday morning in a 4-2 vote, stipulates that face coverings must be worn by all staff and students K-12 while inside, notes WLOS 13.

The congressman told school officials they have "muzzled" children and the voices of the parents who are against the mandate, many of whom were present at the meeting. The mask mandate is "nothing short of psychological child abuse," he added, telling the school board members that they should be ashamed of themselves, according to a reporter for WLOS 13.

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Protestors who joined Cawthorn in condemning the mandate called for the board to revote on the measure; however, the board did not do so.

Cawthorn has been a vocal opponent of mask mandates, recently joining nearly 40 House Republicans who protested the House's requirement backed by Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiJudge to hear Trump's case against Jan. 6 committee in November Kamala Harris engages with heckler during New York speech GOP lawmaker calls for Meghan, Harry to lose royal titles over paid leave push MORE (Calif.) and other Democrats.

"To threaten arrest on others for their own personal medical decisions is nothing short of medical apartheid," Cawthorn said last week while speaking about the issue, according to RealClearPolitics.