LA Times writer: ‘Jerk’ parents need to stop complaining about masks, the kids are ‘used to it’

An editorial board writer for the Los Angeles Times ripped parents as “jerks” for opposing school mask mandates arguing that children are used to wearing them — but perhaps that in and of itself is the problem.

In a piece published Thursday, Karin Klein said that kids were just fine wearing masks at school because they are able to adapt and have gotten “used to it,” even as some other experts have cited research claiming long-duration masking can be harmful.

Klein also argued that court cases seeking to ban mask mandates showed ignorance about the spreading Delta variant of COVID-19 and were the result of a “hysterical attitude” inherent in privileged parents who are primarily concerned about making their kids uncomfortable.

“The kids are fine. It’s the parents who are acting like jerks,” Klein wrote, going on to describe a time when she took her 6-year-old granddaughter to an aquarium where masks were required for all patrons over the age of 2.

Klein wrote that everyone wore masks at the aquarium including kids and that no one complained about having to do so. She also claimed that her granddaughter grew so accustomed to the mask that it slipped her mind and did not remove it as they walked back to Klein’s vehicle after the trip.

“I hear stories like this from parents all the time, including those whose kids have been in classrooms with their masks on all day,” Klein wrote. “Even when they slide into the car and their parents remind them that they can take off their masks, they often shrug and leave them on. They’re used to it.”

“Of course families choose to go to the aquarium, while school is compulsory. But kids have been going to all kinds of places where they wear masks and they’ve been managing,” the piece continued.

“We give kids far too little credit. They’re generally adaptable and able to understand limitations well — at times, it would seem, far better than their parents.”

Klein referenced Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order for schools to require children to be masked and that they could accommodate it just fine but said lawsuits were nevertheless filed to block it.

“These court challenges reveal more than a lack of knowledge about the Delta variant of the coronavirus,” Klein said. “They also display a somewhat hysterical attitude, growing more prevalent among parents of privilege in many arenas, that their children are incapable of suffering any discomfort.”

The editorial writer went on to rip the Orange County School Board, which has joined in one of the lawsuits to overturn the mask mandate.

“Maybe it’s the lack of something constructive to do that has led it to embrace conservative causes lately,” she wrote, noting that the board also held a forum recently to push back against critical race theory.

“The 5- and 6-year-olds don’t know any other reality. And they’re fine with it as long as their parents and other hyper-excited adults would calm down,” Klein continued.

“If we worry about becoming an increasingly entitled society of people who think the rules were meant only for other people, we’re certainly getting a taste of it as parents complain about every rule that might slightly inconvenience their kids,” she said.

Perhaps, it’s not the “inconvenience” that has folks most upset but the fact that many kids are indeed becoming ‘used to it.’ The message of blind obedience being driven into the minds of our most vulnerable is weighing heavily on many parents.

It was clearly seen in a tweet that showed young, masked children in a line — allegedly at a school — extending their arms as they move in what some have called a “zombie walk” for the purposes of social distancing.

Some users suggested that what people were seeing is more akin to obedience training.

Jon Dougherty

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