Peer pressure is a big deal when you’re in eighth grade. Or 12th grade, or preschool — or as an adult. Since March 2020, most of us have ashamedly slipped the loops of our masks over our ears a few times when walking into a store for no reason other than to avoid dealing with dirty stares from Karens in the baking aisle. Having to defend yourself gets old.
The ridiculous, illogical mandates that many Americans have put up with over the past two years show just how easily the fear of sticking out can make people fall into line. Those who care enough to keep pushing back are fewer than they should be, as evidenced by the fact that we haven’t chucked the whole “science has changed” corporate media cabal into the ocean and jailed Dr. “I am science” Fauci.
Those who can’t be bothered to push back could learn a lesson out of the mouths of babes.
Across the country, schoolchildren have been told they must wear useless pieces of paper over their faces while pro-mask tyrants like California Gov. Gavin Newsom strut around unencumbered. Kids are forced to mask up in the same photo with people like grinning, maskless Stacey Abrams, who is either pompous enough to think the rules don’t apply to her or simply an idiot.
In Miami, students posed for a photo with their superintendent in which he was the only one not covering his face.
In Virginia, local school districts are threatening students with trespassing charges for showing up to school unmasked, despite Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order reserving parents the right to choose whether their kids need masks at school. In Loudoun County Public Schools, the crime of not masking appears to get punished a whole lot faster than rape.
Schools are straight-up abusing kids who don’t hang their heads in compliance. In Pennsylvania, a teacher was caught taping a mask to a middle schooler’s face.
Take a look at this girl, who was allegedly forced “to sit in the cold vestibule” with no food or water for hours for not masking.
Or look to a school in Oakdale, Calif., where students reported being barricaded in the gym for not masking, and claimed that school staff turned the thermostat down to “freeze them out.”
Peer pressure from actual peers is tough enough, let alone pressure from authority figures like teachers to go along with such abuse. Kids should have a healthy respect for authority, of course, but their parents’ authority precludes that of their teachers — and a healthy respect for authority does not extend past those authorities’ decision to abuse it.
Most of us adults aren’t threatened by any real repercussions when we choose to go about our days mask-free. The real heroes are the kids who go into a hostile environment every day where they are belittled, ostracized, and shamed, and still don’t give in just for the sake of stopping the blitz.
The real heroes are the little girls who are forced to sit cold and alone and yet don’t give in to the teachers and staff who banished them there. Or these high schoolers in Chicago, who “were reportedly told to mask up or get out” — and did.
Or these students, who used their lunch break to push back against their school board’s senseless mandates.
And God bless students like these, who gathered in what appears to be rainy weather to plan to walk into school maskless together. “They can get me in trouble, they can suspend me, I don’t care. We’re done with this,” one young man can be heard saying while sternly instructing his fellow students to conduct themselves “peacefully and respectfully.”
We need more students like Chance Harcrow of Loudoun Valley High School, who confronted Principal Susan Ross and calmly asked her, “Why are you segregating us like this?” And students like these in Oakdale, Calif., who banded together when the school refused to let them learn without covering their faces.
There are no doubt countless more students across the country who weren’t caught on video who are standing up for themselves too.
It’s abominable what our country has senselessly asked children to give up these last two years. Children have been forced to cover their mouths for speech therapy, kids with learning disabilities have been banned from their physical classrooms and teachers, and terrorized toddlers have had Covid-manic adults instill them with a fear of other human beings.
The students who push back on school-sanctioned abuse deserve our support as much as they need it. Those kids — who think for themselves, trust their parents more than the state, and aren’t cowed out of their principles by authoritarian intimidation tactics — are the ones I want running the country one day.