Cezar, an FUSD senior takes a stand against mask mandate. Administrators threaten to call police, refuse to call his parents, orders him to leave the school. 

Cezar, a senior at an FUSD high school, took a stand Monday against FUSD’s face mask mandate, joining with other students who hope to convince the district to drop their year long mandate. 

Cezar recorded the event on video and recently talked about it on the Jeff Oravits Show.

Cezar explains in the video that he’s “just trying to go to class”.

“Yeah you gotta have a mask to do that” Staff

“No, no thank you” Cezar

“Then you gotta go, one or the other, you either go home—” Staff

“Would you like to call my parents” Cezar

“No, I don’t need to talk to them” Staff

“They’d prefer, they’d prefer” Cezar

“No” Staff

“I’m not talking to anyone unless you call my parents” Cezar

“You can just go.  You can leave our campus.” Staff

Cezar threatened by FUSD staff that they could “call the police”. 

During the video another staff member walks into the situation and tells the others, “I’m not comfortable with him in here right now without a mask on.”

Another FUSD employee then responds, “Yeah, let’s call the, we could call the police.” 

Cezar asks, “Why the police?”  

“Because you’re refusing to follow district policy.” Staff

Trying to protect his attendance record

Cezar tried to get staff to sign a form stating that he’s being removed. The unidentified staff member stated that this “is not my form, I am not signing that.” Cezar said he was trying to protect his attendance record. He was then told to “head on out”.

Will his voice be heard?

When a staff member tells Cezar to go to the football field.  He responds that,“It’s pointless to just stand out there and not get my voice heard”.  The staff responds, “we hear your voice”. 

The staff members encourage Cezar to go to the school board to have his “voice heard”.

Cezar, as do many parents of FUSD, disagrees. Cezar asks, “Do they actually listen?” 

“They actually do,” responds one staff member while another says, “they have to”.

Some parents disagree. Brielle Kennington, who has worked with other parents on a recall petition against one of the board members, Christine Fredericks, pointed out several things that frustrated these parents to the point of filing the petition. She noted that Christine Fredericks was either asleep, or really not paying attention to teachers and parents who testified recently against the district’s mandate. 

Parents are also frustrated by the district’s cap of only 30 minutes of public comment allowed. They’re also concerned that the district has limited parental participation by holding the meetings at the administrative offices rather than a larger venue that will accommodate everyone. She’s not the only one, the chairperson of the recall petition Andrea Macintosh has requested that the February 22 board meeting, in which the mask mandate is expected to be discussed, be held in a larger venue like a school gym.

Cezar plans to go to the upcoming school board meeting but he’s not holding his breath that the mandate will be lifted. “I don’t feel like they listen, because no change ever comes from it. And when it does its very minimal.” 

A staff member in the video told Cezar that she thinks the mandate is going away and that the board is “voting on it and it looks like they’re headed in that direction” and that “they’ve heard your voice”. Cezar points out that he doesn’t think they really want the mask mandate lifted, noting that one of the administrators, who walked up to within several feet of Cezar, stated she felt unsafe because he was not wearing a mask.  One staff member asked if the concerned staff member wanted to head to a “safer space” because they had vulnerable populations who were ”feeling very anxious about (his) presence” because he was unmasked. At that point Cezar was asked to step out.  

On his way out, Cezar noted he’s leaving but not by his choice. One of the FUSD members wanted to leave Cezar with one final point.  She said, “Your rights end where ours begin”.  Cezar pointed out that he has a right to protest and a right to an education.  The staff member said they’re just “trying to protect everybody”.

At one point a staff member points out to Cezar that when people felt uncomfortable, “you’re impinging on her rights”.

Cezar points out staff member contradictions

Cezar disagreed with a staff member that said, “we’re all ready to get rid of these masks just like you, we’re just gonna wait to the school board passes it on the 23rd.” He noted that if everyone’s so worried and everyone’s “so scared why get rid of the masks, if we’re still having covid outbreaks, what are the masks really doing?” 

When Cezar questioned why she’d want to remove the policy yet feels unsafe without him having a mask, the FUSD employee quickly changed the subject and says she has “a meeting with a parent”. At that point Cezar leaves the building and left school for the day. 

Cezar doesn’t see Covid going away anytime soon and hopes those still requiring masks will stop being fearful and that we can all go back to our normal lives. He hopes the mandate will be repealed at next Tuesday’s meeting.

Categories: education, Flagstaff

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