Tyler ISD votes against mask mandate, parents speak out against vaccine incentive for teachers

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – On Monday, parents banded together to speak up at a Tyler ISD board meeting about COVID-19 related topics like mask and vaccine mandates.

Vaccines and masks in schools have been topics in the hot seat since the start of classes. These subjects have divided parents and staff in school districts across the state and here in Tyler.

Most parents KETK’s Lauren Margolis spoke to were against the mandates and eventually the school board voted “no” to a mask mandate, but groups who are for the mandates said the fight isn’t over yet.

“[A] mask mandate is something that is needed in our community,” one person at the meeting said.

Another disagreed with any policy enforcing masks.

Parents said they have been speaking up since August when the school board voted to give a $500 incentive to teachers who got the vaccine.

“It’s unjust to just give money to a certain group of teachers.”

Christin Bentley, Founder and President of the Texas Freedom Coalition

Sarah Fields, the director of Advocacy of the Texas Freedom Coalition added that it is against medical privacy.

“It is against civil rights especially of those deciding to not get the vaccine,” Fields said.

Some parents felt the money should be used elsewhere.

“I would like to see the money go primarily to students who need catching up,” Bentley added. “You know for counseling and any impact that the lockdown had on students.”

Fields said they will keep coming until their voices are heard and the school board “understands what the people want and what is important to the parents.”

At the school board meeting, parents who opposed the vaccine incentive policy and mask mandate wore red.

“Almost every single other person I know of that wears a mask or puts masks on their children are not for mandating it against others,” added Fields.

The next board meeting for Tyler ISD is set for Oct. 18 and the Texas Freedom Coalition does plan on attending it.

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