LA BESE BOARD DISRUPTION— Louisiana’s top school board abruptly ended a chaotic meeting as a raucous crowd of angry, unmasked parents packed the hearing room yesterday. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education was to debate whether Gov. John Bel Edwards’ mask mandate for schools should be challenged but after several disruptions, the board warned the hundreds of people assembled they needed to follow protocols AND wear masks to comply with the mask mandate before the meeting could continue AS medical experts who were to speak refused to enter the room because so many people weren’t wearing masks.
But despite the warning, the crowd refused. So in response, a motion to adjourn was made since so many in the audience refused to wear masks. The board abruptly voted 8-2 to adjourn the hearing and the crowd erupted into shouting about recall efforts for board members. Edwards' executive order has divided parents and provoked loud protests in some school districts. During his monthly radio broadcast yesterday Governor Edwards had this to say about the mask mandate.
"With respect to schools, it's the only way that we have a reasonable shot to keep schools open and keep kids safe and I would hope that the people of Louisiana would just come to understand that." Edwards said.
Healthcare experts say wearing a mask can help reduce community spread of disease. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry recently issued an opinion that Louisiana's top school board has the final say on mask rules in schools, not Gov. John Bel Edwards. Governor Edwards’s Mask Mandate will remain in effect until September 1st. The BESE Board isn’t scheduled to meet again until October.