维多利亚·纳尔逊, 一个初中, 和她的弟弟德鲁, 大四, were booted from the Springs Charter Schools campus in Temecula, 85 miles southeast of Los Angeles, over the incident on Aug. 19, the first of school. Their father, Gary Nelson, 告诉福克斯新闻, the mask refusal stemmed from their religious beliefs. The family is Protestant.
“We know that Muslims and Jewish people are more protected in this culture than Christians, or at least that’s how I feel because they’re in the minority,” Nelson said. “I wonder what would have happened if I said another religion.”
“I can understand if you thought two students were trying to pull a fast one and be in class with no mask on,” 他加了.
维多利亚·纳尔逊, 16, said she and her brother were waiting to speak with a guidance counselor before school and were told by the principal they had to wear a mask. They explained that they had religious objections to the rule, which officials said didn’t qualify for an exemption to the statewide mask mandate.
She then went to her first-period class where her teacher periodically communicated with administrators outside the classroom about the issue, 她说.
“She came back in and had the entire class get up and leave to go to an empty classroom down the hall and when I tried to follow… the vice principal in the hallway blocked me,” Victoria Nelson told Fox News.
The school was eventually placed on lockdown. Law enforcement was called and an officer confronted Nelson and told her to leave the campus, 她说.
She was told she had to wear a mask or go home to do independent study, 她说. Gary Nelson said both his children have excelled academically and have never gotten in trouble at school.
在对福克斯新闻的声明中, the school district said it was investigating the incident and said it’s required to comply with state health orders.
“Like all schools across the state, our staff and students are mandated to wear masks while indoors at school under the statewide public health order. Should state and local orders be changed to make masks voluntary, we will allow our families to make the choice,” 声明说. “然而, until that time, we must follow the law. There are no religious exemptions in the state mask order nor has the right to such an exemption ever been recognized by the Supreme Court. The state may adopt neutral laws of general application to protect public health.
“The current national debate over masks is a sensitive subject with strong feelings on both sides of the issue,” 声明继续. “不幸, significant misinformation regarding this matter has been disseminated by some media outlets.”
The siblings are banned from the campus even if they agree to wear a mask, Gary Nelson said. They are continuing their studies from home, which has been more challenging compared to the COVID-19 pandemic when 学校 scrambled to implement virtual curriculums.
“It’s hard to reach out to the teachers. Nobody responds. If we have a question and they respond, it takes days because they’re in school teaching. Nobody else is doing what we’re doing,” Victoria Nelson said.
Her father said he will initiate legal action if the school ban continues.