Lexington Facebook group puts up billboard demanding face masks be optional

Updated: Apr. 23, 2021 at 7:24 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - A group of Lexington County parents and teachers have paid for a billboard to protest their children being forced to wear face masks at school.

The billboard, located on Highway 378 in front of 14 Carrot Whole Foods, says “Make masks optional” in black and white.

The billboard was paid for by a Facebook group called “Lexington mask by choice, not by force.”

“I hope Dr. Little and Molly Spearman see this and they remove the mask mandate,” group member Stephanie Berquist said.

Berquist said she believes face masks restrict student’s airways and is just plain abuse.

“You can travel freely anywhere in the state with no mask yet our kids are forced, yes forced, to wear a mask 35-45 hours a week,” Berquist said.

The group who put up the billboard said if you want to wear a mask that’s fine, but don’t force their children to wear them.

“We have done this for more than a year to support our staff. We were told to do this for our staff. Our faculty has had the option to be vaccinated, and it’s time for the masks to come off for our children,” group member Debbie Heim said.

WIS spoke to one parent who has a daughter with an underlying medical condition. She said she feels like the billboard is a waste of money and the masks should remain mandatory.

The school district says they are moving towards phasing out plexiglass and face masks from the classroom, but data shows they are still necessary.

The school district also said over half the staff has been vaccinated, so if the data shows low spread statistics next year they might change the mask mandate, but this will not happen this year.

The group who put up the billboard plan to attend the next school board meeting on May 4 to convince the board to change the mask mandate.

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