A family that listens to our radio show in Libby, Montana made a really good point when it comes to the mandatory mask debate in Billings schools last week. The school board didn't care what the parents had to say. They didn't care about the kids. But when the teachers union came out against mandatory masks, that's what stopped a mask mandate in School District 2?

It's a very good point, isn't it? This also means that when it comes to the abrupt reversal announced by SD2 Superintendent Greg Upham over the weekend, it wasn't just a slap in the face to parents and kids, it was an even bigger slap in the face to teachers and to the teachers union. (Upham was no doubt being pressured by the left-wing dominated school board to find an excuse to mandate masks.)

If you talked with parents who attended last week's school board meeting in Billings, they would tell you that they expected a mask mandate in School District 2. The school board made it clear that they did not care what the parents had to say. The school board did not care what was best for the kids, they were going to use the Yellowstone County Health Officer to manipulate case counts to try and justify a mask mandate in the schools.

Bottom line: they were looking for any excuse they could possibly find to say, oh well- now we have to mandate masks in school. That's why the last-minute decision to now mandate masks in Billings schools is seen as a political decision and not a health decision.

What stopped a mask mandate from happening? Our teachers. The teachers and classified staff sent a very strong message that they did not want to be forced to wear masks. With teachers and staff not required to wear masks, the superintendent was left with no other choice than to not force masks on kids either.

The same day the decision was announced by SD2 Superintendent Greg Upham that masks would not be required, schools across the city hosted open houses for parents, teachers, and kids.

I can tell you after attending two of those events that the kids were so happy to see their teachers smiling faces. Those same teachers were now slapped in the face by School District 2. Will their union stand up? Will they walk out? If they do, they will have a city behind them.


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