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Parents speak out against Gov. Wolf's mask mandate

Dozens of parents gathered in a Wayne County park, speaking out against mask-wearing in schools and the Governor's newly announced mandate.

HAWLEY, Pa. — At a rally originally planned in response to mask mandates at the Wallenpaupack and Wayne Highland School Districts, the focus shifted to Tuesday's announcement from Governor Wolf.

Wolf announced mask mandates will go into effect at public schools and daycares next Tuesday as cases surge in the commonwealth.

Hours after the announcement, parents gathered at Bingham Park in Hawley to express their frustration.

Credit: WNEP

Annastasia Theodoroboulos has two daughters attending the Delaware Valley School District.

"If he wants to push for September 7 for them to recommend masks, it is not a law, and families should make their own choices," she said.

Theodoroboulos told Newswatch 16 she lost five family members to the coronavirus early on in the pandemic. Still, she feels her kids are better off without masks.

"It is very unsafe for children to be masked up and muzzled for hours a day, breathing in their own toxins and carbon monoxide," Theodoroboulos said.

Teddy Daniels said he pulled his son from Western Wayne School District when masks were still optional in school but mandatory on the bus.

"I don't remember when I gave my parenting rights over to a school board," Daniels said. "Their job is to educate my child; my job is to raise them."

Tyler Samson is a parent from the Wayne Highlands School District; he's running for the school board as a write-in.

"I'm tired of going to school board meetings, and I feel like I'm not being heard," he said. "This is just my way of acting on what I believe."

Samson said he was discouraged by the governor's announcement.

"It's not up to him; this is not a dictator," he said. "A guy that lives 200 miles away from me that I'll meet gets to tell me what my kids have to wear on their face? It's silly."

Governor Wolf said his office received calls from concerned parents asking them to protect children.

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