A Texas parent stripped down to his underwear to make a point about masks at a heated Dripping Springs school district meeting this week, according to reports.
Monday’s meeting was intended as an agenda review in preparation for the regular board meeting next week — with agenda items listed as financial reports, construction updates, and bond information. But those who spoke at the public forum focused mainly on whether the board would shift from its current mask-optional stance.
Those who spoke included 15-year resident and school district parent James Akers, who bared almost all when sharing his thoughts on the latest discussion surrounding mask requirements in schools.
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Akers described examples of inconveniences that actually benefit others to prove a point about the importance of masks.
“I do not like the government or any other entity, just ask my wife, telling me what to do,” Akers said, as he took off his jacket, according to Dripping Springs Century News. “At work, they make me wear this jacket. I hate it. They make me wear this shirt and tie. I hate it.”
Akers then proceeded to take off his tie, along with his shirt.
“On the way over here, I ran three stop signs and four red lights,” he added. “I almost killed somebody out there, but by God, they’re my roads too. So I have every right to drive as fast as I want to, make the turns that I want to. I got over here to the school today, and the parking lot was full, and I decided I was going to park wherever the hell I wanted to — which, in this case, happened to be a handicap [spot].”
“It’s simple protocol, people,” Akers continued after taking his pants off. “We follow certain rules for a very good reason.”
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Officers did not remove him, and he put his clothes back on following a request by Board President Barbara Stroud, Austin’s KXAN-TV reported.
“Mr. Akers, I understand — I believe you’re a swimmer — but if you would mind putting your pants back on for a comment, that would be appreciated,” Stroud said.
Masks are currently recommended by school district officials, however, they are not mandated for students, staff, and other personnel in the district, according to the station.
Some parents at the meeting argued the school should focus on teaching instead of enforcing masks, while others talked of the importance of having mandates to protect others from the virus. In Hays County, 50 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, according to Dripping Springs Century News. Of those, 41 are unvaccinated.
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No action was taken on masks during the meeting, the paper reported.
Dripping Springs is about 25 miles southwest of Austin.