A New Jersey nurse has been suspended after what she termed an act of civil disobedience to protest mask mandates in school.
Erin Pein first complained to her supervisors about the harm mask mandates were doing to children, and when no one listened, broke the rules herself by showing up without a mask. After she posted a YouTube video in which she outlined her case against masks for children, she was suspended.
“I wanted to make a statement to get their attention that masking kids for six to seven hours a day is wrong,” she said, according to Newsweek.
“I knew what the consequences would most likely be, and I still wanted to spread the word about how harmful these masks all day are for the students.”
In her video, she said she had been in multiple schools across the district “and I’ve just seen horrible things with these masks for the kids.”
She said masks, which by state edict are required to be worn by everyone in New Jersey schools to limit the spread of the coronavirus, are worn improperly by both students and staff.
“I’ve seen so much pain with them and suffering, just on a multi-faceted level,” she said.
Pein said the masks increase anxiety in very young children and serve no purpose.
“The masks unfortunately don’t prevent them from getting COVID. Because the viruses are so small, it can’t be stopped with a mask,” she said.
“Making these kids wear them for six or seven hours a day is awful.”
In her video, Pein called a mask mandate in school “100 percent child abuse.”
Since her suspension, she said she has received widespread support.
“I’ve been getting an outpouring of emails from parents all over the place telling me that their child has strep throat, that the doctor has been telling them there’s a big outbreak of it. All kinds of things that are potentially from the mask because none of them are wearing them safely,” Pein told WKXW-FM.
“You have to stand up when you see something wrong and that’s the point here,” she said. “My own son told me he ran a mile and a half with the mask on. He said he pulled it down a little over his mouth so that he could breathe but he’s still sucking it in. Everybody was having a hard time.
“That’s abuse. That is not helping them and not preventing COVID outside.”
“I want to continue to speak out about the harmfulness of these masks, I want to make a difference for these kids who need a voice,” Pein added, according to Newsweek.
“I am also concerned about the mental health of the students as well. These masks are damaging a generation. Our kids. If the masks worked at preventing COVID, that would be great, but they unfortunately do not.”
Pein’s supporters plan to come en masse to protest on her behalf at the school board’s next meeting, the Washington Examiner reported.
The school did not want to discuss the issue.
“Unfortunately, it is a personnel matter and I do not have the ability to comment or discuss the matter, nor can I discuss any of the information that Ms. Pein has already chosen to make public,” school board attorney Martin Buckley said in a statement, according to the Examiner.
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