A California teacher, who was placed on paid leave, and a high school student are speaking out against the state’s stringent COVID-related mandates after he decided to teach his class without a mask, participating in the school’s student-led “No Mandate Monday.”
Ponderosa High School teacher Michael Wilkes and student Lexi Wagner joined “Fox & Friends First” on Monday to discuss the mandates and why they are pushing back.
“We need to unite with people that are like-minded and stand up across the board and simply say no to these mandates in order for them to stop,” Wilkes explained. “If we have enough of us that stand up and do that and put it on the line, we can win.”
Following the incident, students banded together and unmasked in support of the student, in a video that went viral on twitter.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 01: California Gov. Gavin Newsom talks with 7th grade students at James Denman Middle School on October 01, 2021 in San Francisco, California. California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that California will become the first state in the nation to mandate students to have a COVID-19 vaccination in order to attend in person classes. The mandate will go into effect at all private and public schools in the state when the FDA approves the vaccinations for students age and grade level. It is expected that 7th to 12th graders will likely have to have the vaccine by January of 2022. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) (Getty)
Lexi Wagner, a senior at the high school, explained what happens when she and her peers protest every Monday against the mask mandate.
“You get to be with other kids who aren’t wearing a mask,” she explained. “You get sent to a noncompliance room where there’s no instruction, and in some cases, they’ll take away your food from you.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on October 1st plans to require a COVID-19 vaccine to attend in-person learning, making the Golden State the first to do.
“California is the first state in the country that’s chosen to threaten all the way down to children as young as five years old that they’ll lose their education if they don’t take the vaccine,” Wilkes explained. “And so they put parents in this compromised position where they have to make this choice.”
“It’s essentially blackmail … or coercion.”
Wilkes continued, “They’ve crossed a line when it comes to our kids. I think people that weren’t awake prior are awake now, and it’s time for people to stand up at this point and no longer comply.”
The mandate will require full FDA approval for the appropriate age groups before the policy is implemented.