Chicago area students walk out of class in protest over Illinois mask mandate in schools

Lincolnwood D74 teachers denounce district's decision to go mask optional

Michelle Gallardo Image
Thursday, February 10, 2022
Chicago area students walk out of class to protest mask mandate
Students in Naperville and Mundelein walked out in protest over the mask mandate staying in place at their schools.

WARRENVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- Frustration continues to build over the mask debate in schools, with students in at least two suburbs walking out in protest Wednesday over the mandate staying in place at their schools.

At Mundelein High School, where mask use is still required, a large group was turned away after they tried to walk in unmasked.

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"You can be for masks or against masks, but voicing your opinion matters," Mundelein student Ty Worbieski said.

"Me and four others were just denied our right to be educated and kicked out of our school because we weren't wearing a mask," Will Wysoglad, a senior at Naperville's Neuqua Valley High School, said in a social media post that has been viewed over 100,000 times since Tuesday. On Wednesday, he, his younger brother and a group of friends were denied entry for a second consecutive day.

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"I don't have a problem with people wearing masks," Wysoglad said. "I have a problem with people making me wear a mask, especially now that they're not legally able to do it."

"My boys did request a room so they can actually stay in school," said his father, Rob Wysoglad. "The school did say they would look into that, but we'll see what we'll see what happens in the coming days."

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Meanwhile in Lincolnwood's D74, teachers denounced their district's decision to go mask optional.

"There was a student that tried to remove the mask from another student," D74 teacher Stacy Panoutsos said. "And obviously the teacher put a stop to it immediately, but these are not situations that children should have been placed in."

And in the western suburbs, where District 200 went mask optional this week, a group of parents continues to vocally oppose the move and what they say is the lack of accommodation for those who need to remain masked.

"In order to protect those who are near and dear to me, I'm in a position where my child can't learn anymore. She's literally sat at home for three days," parent Ronak Maisuria said. "No one from the school has reached out in order to provide any educational support."

Hubble Middle School in Warrenville will play host to a school board meeting Wednesday night where all of these issues are expected to be raised, as positions continue to harden among those on both sides of the debate.

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