4-year-old child kicked out of CA school for not wearing a mask, viral video spurs national outrage

A California elementary school drew national attention over a viral video of a 4-year-old boy being prevented from attending class for not wearing a mask along with the response from police who were called by school officials, drawing strong criticism that led to the district suspending its mask mandate.

In the video which was recorded by the child’s father, the boy is seen trying to enter Theuerkauf Elementary School in Mountainview, California when he is prevented from gaining access by a woman who has been identified as Michelle Williams, the school’s principal.

“I welcome him here and I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I want him here but it is our district’s policy to have to wear a mask,” she told the boy’s father who identifies himself as Shawn and has requested that his last name not be used.

The video clip also shows the child being escorted out of class by Williams who cites the mask policy of the Mountain View Whisman School District as well as an explanation from the school’s resource officer.

“You know, I can’t say like what they’re doing is wrong and I can’t say what you’re doing is wrong and honestly, like both sides have valid points,” the officer said, expressing his hope that the mask mandate would soon be lifted.

“I’m watching my son. I’m waking him up every day, go to school, get turned away with tears in his eyes. He doesn’t know what’s going on, he’s visibly upset, visibly disheveled by getting turned away and rejected,” the father, whose son has developmental issues told Bay Area news outlet ABC7, saying that he recorded the video to share publicly with parents groups.

(Video: YouTube/Reopen California Schools)

“He basically looked like a PTSD victim,” Shawn told Fox News Digital, “He was inconsolable for about two hours.”

During the school board’s meeting on Thursday night, Mountain View Whisman School District Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph announced that beginning on Friday, masks would no longer be mandatory, an abrupt about-face.

“We are now in the medium tier, so starting tomorrow, we are now in ‘masks optional’ for students,” he said according to ABC7.

(Video: ABC7)

On Friday, Rudolph released a statement to parents about the incident captured in Shawn’s video. “Our primary responsibility as a school district is the safety of students and staff members in order to create a peaceful learning and working environment for all on our campuses. Sadly, our schools are caught in a precarious position between groups who have strong opinions about COVID protocols and masking on both sides.”

“We very much understand that there are strong feelings about masking on both sides. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve had only one student whose parents have not allowed them to comply with MVWSD’s COVID masking rules, resulting in them not being able to attend school. We continually offer support to all students who feel hesitant about masks so that they can attend school. Often this means that teachers and staff go above and beyond the call of duty to find ways to help students adjust to school. Something that often goes unseen or even unacknowledged,” he said.

Rudolph also blasted Shawn for the recording of the video.

“It’s very unfortunate that this parent chose to video record one of our principals after she repeatedly asked him not to. This parent worked with an advocacy group outside Mountain View to create a professional video in order to nationally shame a public servant doing her job while maintaining a safe and orderly school,” the statement reads. “In all of our time in the pandemic, only one parent has resorted to these tactics taken from a national playbook on how to disrupt educational environments.”

The father focused on the well-being of young children.

“I just think it’s time to move forward, the kids need to see faces, they need to see people smiling, they need to have a brighter outlook on the future in general,” the father said.

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