As local governments ratchet up restrictions amid an increase in COVID-19 cases, Wisconsinites are pushing back.
A coalition of 38 parent advocacy groups across the state is rejecting local and national calls for new lockdowns and enforced masking of their children. The groups have sent an open letter to President Joe Biden and Gov. Tony Evers stating their opposition.
“We have watched the last week unfold in abject horror — observing our government institutions and leaders failing our children at every turn, again,” wrote the groups, including We The Parents, Wisconsin United for Freedom, and No Left Turn in Education Wisconsin.
They say the call for renewed lockdowns, enforced masked mandates and masking in schools is not rooted in science and is “objectively cruel to the most vulnerable in our society, our children.”
“We believe that you are in fact aware of this and continue to play political games with our children, despite our efforts to work with you over the last twelve months,” the letter states.
Last week, Biden issued a new safety mandate for federal employees and contractors: They must “attest” to being vaccinated or they must wear masks at all times and submit to regular COVID-19 screening.
Local governments are beginning to issue orders requiring masks in public buildings, school districts are weighing the same, and concerns are rising that lockdowns will follow.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court in a ruling this past spring stopped Evers from issuing his indefinite statewide mask orders. The court ruled the governor broke state law in doing so, as the Evers administration did in issuing extended stay-at-home orders at the outset of the pandemic.
But the advocacy groups aren’t taking any chances. Their letter to the president and the governor makes clear they will not stand for the next round of broad health restrictions.
Effective immediately, they say they will not: mask their children in schools; allow the government administrations to use their “private sector counterparts to enforce invasive mask mandates on our children in various stores or at community activities”; or subject their children to any further local, regional, or national lockdowns or movement restriction.
“Simply put, these are not your children. They are ours and they too, are Americans with rights. They are our responsibility and our most beloved. They are not yours,” the letter states.
Read the full letter here.