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6 Brave, Totally Misinformed OKCPS Employees Stand Up to District Mask Mandate

6:56 AM EDT on August 18, 2021

Late last week, Oklahoma City Public Schools followed the lead of a few other school districts around the state and announced mask mandates for students and staff.

The move was in defiance of an intentionally weak, toothless and loophole-filled law that Oklahoma GOP lawmakers and Governor Kevin Stitt passed earlier this year that banned mask mandates in public schools, because you know, pandering to quack, science-denying, reality-averse voters is way more important than the health and safety of public school students and teachers.

For the most part, the mask mandate has been welcomed by just about everyone who lives in reality and treats the pandemic seriously, but some district staff members who probably think they're brave patriots standing up to a totalitarian government refused to comply.

Via News 9:

Six employees for Oklahoma City Public Schools have been placed on paid administrative leave after refusing to comply with the district’s mask requirement.

Friday, August 13, OKCPS Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel announced the requirement that face coverings be worn while on school property.

“Per OKCPS Administrative Regulation C-26-R2 (under C-26 Wellness) Mask Requirement to Protect against the Spread of COVID-19, all employees are afforded the opportunity to request a medical accommodation… As always, the health and safety of OKCPS students and staff is our highest priority,” a spokesman for the district said in part in a statement sent to News 9

Since most kids still aren't eligible to be vaccinated, I think requiring both students and staff to wear a mask at school is a good idea. That being said, couldn't the district have gone with a little less authoritarian-sounding name than "Administrative Regulation C-26-R2?" Were they trying to make the order sound as Big Brother as possible? I can't wait to see what Holocaust memes and analogies The Oklahoma GOP and local weathermen whip up for that one!

That being said, the fact that only six people refused to comply is kind of positive. Since every high school has a couple of history teachers and wrestling coaches who are probably the libertarian anti-masker type, I figured more people would dissent. I wonder what gives? Maybe they're waiting for Derplahoman heroes like Nathan Dahm to step up to the plate and fight for them?

In case you missed it, he's threatening to sue Tulsa Public Schools because they're following federal law and requiring masks on buses:

State Sen. Nathan Dahm threatened Tulsa Public Schools with legal action unless it submits to his demand to revoke requirements for students to wear masks on school buses.

In a letter emailed to every school principal in the district on Thursday, Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, wrote: “I encourage you to immediately reverse your illegal actions by revoking your requirement for students to wear masks on school buses. An immediate response to this letter is requested before further legal actions are taken.”

Tulsa Public Schools, where classes begin next Thursday, has adopted a plan for 2021-22 that says it “expects” students and employees to wear masks indoors. But masks will be mandatory on school buses because district leaders said they must comply with federal rules requiring masks on public transportation.

Spokeswoman Emma Garrett Nelson said the district has not responded to Dahm’s letter, and she reiterated that the district will be following a standing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order that requires face masks on public transportation conveyances.

That order specifically includes school buses, as well as airplanes, trains, subways and taxis.

But Dahm, whose District 33 includes a large swath of east Tulsa, said requiring students to wear masks on their school buses would violate a newly enacted state statute, Senate Bill 658.

That's interesting. I'm not sure where I read it, but I swore that somewhere it says federal law takes priority over any conflicting state laws. Maybe a constitutional scholar like Dahm can fill us in on that?

Anyway, I guess we'll continue to follow this and bring you and updates. Stay with The Lost Ogle. We'll keep you advised.

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