A rally in support of optional masks in the Billings public schools is planned for Tuesday night at 5:30 pm on the Yellowstone County courthouse lawn. Jenna McKinney is with the Montana Family Rights Alliance and says the rally is not simply a protest against mask mandates, but a rally FOR optional mask wearing.

McKinney: We just want to encourage the community- really all taxpayers, people who value their freedom, especially our teachers- we really are backing them (the teachers)- they are the ones taking the heat on all of this...to come to our rally Tuesday night.

McKinney noted that the Montana Family Rights Alliance was started initially by parents who simply wanted the freedom to watch their kids' sporting events, and now is standing up for parents' rights across the state. The group threw together a last minute rally on Sunday in Billings' Pioneer Park against the mandatory masks in Billings School District 2 following the news Saturday that SD2 would now be mandating masks.

Over a dozen teachers and staff were also in attendance at that rally, with another rally planned for Tuesday night.

McKinney says this effort isn't just about masks. It's about attending sporting events, it's about potential COVID vaccine mandates, and it's about basic rights as a parent.

Mckinney: I think people see the writing on the wall that this is the issue. This is where we have to stand our ground as parents and as people who love freedom of choice and value the importance of it. But also, we see what's coming with the vaccination. It's been so heavy handedly pushed from the top down...parents are feeling like our parental rights on medical choice for our children is getting stripped away from us.



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