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Mask mandate protests continue in Dickinson County

Protestors gathered outside Norway-Vulcan Area Schools and the Dickinson-Iron District Health Department today
Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 4:47 PM EDT
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DICKINSON COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - Two protests were held in opposition to the new mask mandate announced last week for Dickinson and Iron County Public Schools. Concerned citizens and parents gathered in Norway and Kingsford to protest mask mandates in schools today. Protestors say they have one goal in mind, to end the mandate.

“We are organizing so we can give the parents the choice back whether our children wear masks or not. That’s all we want, is the freedom to choose,” said Jill Huddleston, Parents Against Mask Mandate Member.

The protest started at Norway-Vulcan Area Schools, where more than 20 parents gathered. Huddleston says two petitions are being signed and will be presented to the Norway-Vulcan Board of Education at the next board meeting.

One petition is for the board to go against the health department’s mandate, and another is to recall school board members. The school administration recognizes the importance of free speech.

“It’s their right to have a rally, it’s their right to do what they’re going to do and we respect that. We just want to be able to get our kids and our staff into school and go on with our learning day,” said Lou Steigerwald, Norway-Vulcan Area Schools Superintendent.

After school started, parents transitioned to Kingsford and joined dozens of people to protest in front of the Dickinson-Iron District Health Department, where the new mandate came from. Citizens from across the county picketed outside the health department.

“The goal at the health department is all of our small communities are coming together and taking a stand for our kids,” Huddleston said.

Our request for comment from the Dickinson-Iron District Health Department has not been answered at this time.

Huddleston says parents want school boards to vote against following the health department mandate, and for the health department to rescind its order. Protestors say this is only the beginning.

“We’re [going to] keep fighting no matter what. It’s all about choice and we’re not [going to] give up, we’re only going to grow in number,” said James Stewart, Parents Against Mask Mandate Member.

As events unfold, TV6 will have continuing coverage in Dickinson and Iron Counties.

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