As the legal battle over mask mandates unravels and schools across the state challenge Governor Abbott’s executive order to prohibit mask requirements, implementing such health guidelines still remains a highly disputed issue.
Proof of this is the series of heated events that took place at a recent contentious school board meeting in the small town of Dripping Springs, where a 15-year resident and DSISD dad resorted to stripping in order to make a case for mask mandates.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Dripping Springs Independent School District has a policy stating face masks are optional for the upcoming school year -an agenda item that led to an hours-long meeting on Monday- where residents argued for and against adjusting that policy by enforcing stricter COVID-19 safety measures in classrooms.
With a 90-second allocation for microphone time, concerned parents took turns stating their case.
However, none seemed to be as compelling as the speech given by DSID parent of three, Mr. James Akers, who started off fully clothed and left the mic with nothing but a swimsuit.
“I do not like government, or any other entity — just ask my wife — telling me what to do,” he said. “But, sometimes I’ve got to push the envelope a little bit, and I’ve just decided that I’m going to not just talk about it, but I’m going to walk the walk.”
As reported by KXAN, Akers then began removing articles of clothing as he outlined all the different laws and social expectations in place — stopping at red lights, wearing professional attire at work and not parking in handicapped parking spots — people are expected to follow. Masks, he said, are one of those things people should abide by in the effort of doing the right thing for the safety of others.
Ending his speech without his shirt or pants, Mr. Akers grabbed his clothes and proceeded to seat down, as the audience was left divided in laughs, boos, and standing ovations.
In a follow up interview, Akers told KXAN the decision to speak before the board came as tensions and divisions ran high in the district. Masks are currently recommended as an option by DSISD officials but are not mandated for students, staff and other district personnel.
“There are too many voices out there that I think are digging in for political reasons, and absolutely just not thinking about the commonsense decisions we make every day to comply with everything from driving down the road and being safe and courteous to other drivers to not parking in handicapped spots,” he said. “All these rules that we’re given every day that we follow, because they make sense.”