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Unmask Maryland calls on governor to remove mask mandate on school children

WBAL TV Baltimore logo WBAL TV Baltimore 6/9/2021
a group of people holding a sign: unmask maryand rally © WBALTV unmask maryand rally

Dozens of parents and students and concerned community members showed up to Lawyers Mall in Annapolis Tuesday night rallying with one goal in mind -- unmasking kids.

Mask mandates have been lifted in Maryland, except in certain places, including schools. The group Unmask Maryland wants that to change.

"Children are not the spreaders of this illness. They have never been. The data does not support masking little children. There's no need for it, so we're a little confused and frankly pretty upset that the governor's specifically put masking of children in schools in his latest executive order," said Del. Lauren Arikan.

The group would like the governor to lift that part of the order and allow each county to make the decision. Those who attended the rally say it's physically and psychologically damaging for kids to wear a mask all day.

"I've had friends' children who have passed out while they're being forced to wear masks outside during recess. I've had friends' children who have had staph infections that won't heal on their face. Children that have never had cavities before now, because they're not drinking water as much and they're not breathing air as much into the mouth," Arikan said.

"People need to be not putting their fear on our kids," said member Sarah Scott.

Parents at the rally say some kids who can't wear masks can't go to school and they're suffering.

"There's no reason why they shouldn't be receiving their education in the way they've been accustomed to receiving it in the best manner possible, which is not masked," Scott sad.

"Sometimes when you're wearing it, it goes down and you don't like pulling it up all the time and sometimes they're too tight," said student Gracelyn.

"It's hot. It makes me hot," said student Colin.

But kids can't advocate for themselves, so the group says they're standing up for them.

"They need more from us. They need us to protect them and our childhood," Scott said.

WBAL-TV 11 News reached out to the governor's office multiple times over the last week to get his comment and has not get a response.

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