‘I’m speaking up’: Dripping Springs ISD parents pull kids out of school to protest district’s mask policy


DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — Several parents are still putting pressure on the Dripping Springs Independent School District to update its mask policy immediately. 

On Friday, some parents pulled their children out of school, protesting masks and participating in a “sit-out.” And they’re especially motivated now to keep fighting.

Parents gathered at Founders Park in Dripping Springs. They are hopeful the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidance may help their case. 

On Thursday, the CDC announced fully-vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks in most settings. That would only generally apply to students 16 and older who have gone two weeks since their final COVID-19 shot.

“I’m speaking up, because I haven’t had the courage for so long,” parent Olivia Barnard said. “We’re so fearful of judgement; we’re so fearful of backlash.”

Another parent, Sue Schumacher agreed.

“It’s about standing up for what we believe in the best interest for everyone within the district, and we believe that masks should be optional,” Schumacher said.

Almost 30 families gathered over the course of two hours, according to the event’s organizer. 

“It’s amazing to see how many parents and people are here,” Dripping Springs ISD student Brooklyn Schumacher said.

According to DSISD, 97 students were absent because of the sit-out. That’s out of 7,487 students total in the district.

Looking ahead, parents plan on voicing concerns yet again at the next school board meeting on May 24. DSISD said though it’s not tracking how many teachers, staff and students have been vaccinated, it will reconsider the policy at their meeting.

Austin ISD released its guidance on masks Friday. It said it will continue to require masking through the rest of the school year and with graduation ceremonies, because there is no way to verify vaccination status. Many students are just becoming eligible for the vaccine this week.

Hays CISD and San Marcos ISD tell us their districts will also continue to require masks on campus.

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