LOXLEY, Ala. (WALA) -- More COVID restrictions leading to outrage in Baldwin County. Thursday's School Board meeting interrupted by parents protesting a new mask mandate. Those parents are fed up, but Superintendent Eddie Tyler is not budging -- sticking by his decision.
The decision comes exactly one week after, Superintendent Tyler said masks would not be required this upcoming school year. Tyler says the decision was based on the number of rising COVID cases and Alabama's low vaccination rate and guidance from health experts.
"This stuff is affecting younger and younger people right now. And young people are getting severely sick from this Delta variance, which is three to four more times than the COVID... it's happening so quickly," explained Tyler.
Tyler updated Baldwin's mask guidelines in an email to parents. Some of those parents showing up last minute to a specially called School Board meeting Thursday evening.
"We don't think the science of the mask proves anything - to us... nobody has proved it yet to us," said Anthony Crawford.
With protesting signs -- Crawford and Savana Lee says their three children will not be masking up.
"And now our kids all have breathing issues from masking up all year long last year. So I personally believe that it is child abuse. I think it is terrible they are trying to mask our children -- and I will never mask my kids again," said Lee. "My kids were all signed up to start school -- but I'll be withdrawing them if they are going to be forcing them to wear masks. I will never go along with that again."
While Thursday's meeting was open for anyone to attend -- it was closed for public comment. Still school board members got an earful as parents began shouting their outrage over the mask mandate. Tyler eventually calling for Baldwin County deputies to remove them from the meeting.
Superintendent Tyler says they've also received positive feedback for the mask mandate. Again, he's standing by his decision and says when it comes to COVID -- things are subject to change.
"I understand the concerns of parents -- I really do. But my concern is 31,000 students and 4,000 plus employees that come to school every day," said Tyler. "You know things happen... and I'm having to mask up again. I don't like it. I really, really don't. But out of respect for our employees and our students I'm going to do that. and I expect them to do that."
Thursday's meeting was to approve last minute hires. The public will have the opportunity to comment at the next regular meeting on August 19th in Bay Minette.
Meanwhile, Tyler says they will revisit the mask guidelines the week after they come back from Labor Day.