A Texas parent stripped down to his underwear to prove a point about masks. The parent indulged in a heated argument at the Dripping Springs ISD's board meeting on Monday as he was trying to make his point about how following the rules such as wearing a mask is for the benefit of others.
Dripping Springs Independent School District is a public school district based in the northwest portion of Hays County, Texas. The school had organized a board meeting that focused mainly on whether the board would shift from its current mask-optional stance. Less than half an hour into the meeting, a school district parent, James Akers, shared his thoughts on the latest discussion surrounding mask requirements in schools.
Meeting Descended into Chaos After Akers Took Off His Shirt and Pants
"I do not like the government or any other entity, just ask my wife, telling me what to do," Akers said, as he took off his jacket, according to Dripping Springs Century News. "At work, they make me wear this jacket. I hate it. They make me wear this shirt and tie. I hate it."
Akers then proceeded to take off his tie, along with his shirt.
"It's simple protocol, people," Akers continued after taking his pants off. "We follow certain rules for a very good reason."
What Was the Reaction of Parents That Attended the Meeting?
After Akers ended his argument, meeting attendees laughed, applauded and shouted at him.
Some parents cheered Akers on, but there was also scrutiny. Whether it was Akers' actions, words or a combination of the two, it is not clear. But what was clear is more parents who attended the DSISD Board meeting want a choice for their kids on wearing masks, reported Hays Free Press.
Some parents at the meeting argued the school should focus on teaching instead of enforcing masks, while others talked of the importance of having mandates to protect others from the virus, reports say.
Officers Put Akers' Clothes Back
Officers did not remove Akers, and he put his clothes back on following a request by Board President Barbara Stroud, Austin's KXAN-TV reported.
"Mr. Akers, I understand â I believe you're a swimmer â but if you would mind putting your pants back on for a comment, that would be appreciated," Stroud said.
No action was taken on masks during the meeting, reports say.
Masks are currently recommended by school district officials, however, they are not mandated for students, staff, and other personnel in the district, according to the station.
Social Media Reactions
As soon as the news broke out, several community members commented on social media and said Akers' actions were inappropriate in the public forum setting, while others commended his efforts.
One internet user said, "He should have been kicked out of the meeting until he could act like a grown human being." Another said, "His argument was flooded with false equivalence."
Some netizens said Akers has mental health issues and hence he removed his clothes. One comment read: "Thanks for the entertainment, your child can take comfort in having their dad performing a stripping number." On the other hand, some social media users felt that Arkers made very good points and highlighted the seriousness of wearing masks.