It’s sometimes amazing what those on the left believe paints their causes in a positive light.
If you’ve never seen his Twitter feed, Ron Filipkowski is a prominent Florida lawyer and ex-Republican who describes himself in his bio as “general counsel for the woke mob” and doesn’t mean that sarcastically.
As he’s fond of pointing out, his “dedicated team monitors right wing shows, social media pages, rallies, events, protests and podcasts every day to keep people informed on what is happening.”
On Wednesday, Filipkowski wanted to keep people informed of the fact that, in a small Michigan town, some of the students weren’t obeying masking rules.
“Students at a school in Manchester, MI, instigated by parents, refuse to comply with the mask mandate and enter school. This is the next phase — school boards can enact policies, but someone also has to enforce them,” he tweeted.
Filipkowski wasn’t giving viewers the full context.
The person he wanted to enforce the mask mandate — issued by the county Health Department and a policy of the school district — on a group of minors was a deputy from the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office. He wasn’t having it.
That, according to Filipkowski, was a problem.
Students at a school in Manchester, MI, instigated by parents, refuse to comply with the mask mandate and enter school. This is the next phase – school boards can enact policies, but someone also has to enforce them. pic.twitter.com/KLhqgUP8or
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) September 8, 2021
According to MLive, the protest was carried out by roughly two dozen students at Manchester High School on Tuesday, the day the Washtenaw County Health Department’s mask mandate for county schools went into effect.
“Located in the southwestern corner of Washtenaw County with an enrollment of about 800 students, Manchester Community Schools had been the only district in the county that made wearing masks optional prior to the health department’s mandate,” MLive’s Martin Slagter reported.
The students and their parents “voiced their displeasure with school officials outside the building Tuesday,” Slagter wrote. The person charged with keeping them out of the building would have been the deputy, and as he pointed out, he was “not putting masks on anybody.”
Parents then said students could and should enter the building, noting staff blocking the door couldn’t touch them or enforce the order.
“It did get vocal and students did begin pressing against the door for entry without masks, obviously not being compliant,” Manchester Superintendent Brad Bezeau said.
“I wouldn’t want to block students or anything like that, so that’s certainly how they got past us, but we were doing our due diligence and making sure that they understood that entering the building without a mask isn’t in compliance,” Bezeau said.
And so he crumbled; his stand in the schoolhouse door was just as brief as it was ineffectual.
The unmasked students weren’t allowed to enter classrooms, however, and were put into a separate room for the day to do their work. Bezeau said the district had worked with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office to enforce masking — although from what we can see, it’s unclear how this worked in any substantive way.
“After the incident, Bezeau sent out communications to district families reminding them their children needed to comply with the health department’s order and that they were not allowed in school buildings without a mask,” MLive reported.
The students who protested the mask mandate also received discipline for violating the school’s code of conduct, although the superintendent framed it as “more of an educational piece” about how their behavior needed to change.
“I hope that folks are understanding the gravity of the seriousness of this — that we want to make sure that everyone’s safe,” Bezeau said. “You certainly can voice your opinion, but in the end we have to do what’s mandated of us.”
But wasn’t the whole point of this to save lives? If masks are so critical, he could have simply closed the doors on them. Instead, he let them in but put them in a separate classroom and chastised them as if he were the bad principal in a high school movie. Good work, minor-league Dean Wormer.
And then there’s the matter of enforcement, which seems spotty at best. The sheriff’s office doesn’t seem to want to get dug in. The county Health Department said school policy was the first step, and if that didn’t work, they’d step in — although yet again, it was unclear how willing they were to be mask enforcers.
“We’re not equipped or set up to be in all of our school buildings monitoring this and handing out tickets,” Washtenaw County Health Department spokeswoman Susan Ringler-Cerniglia said. “That’s just now how this works. So, does it make sense, first and foremost, for this to be a school policy and be enforced that way? Yes, absolutely.
“I think part of the issue is the expectation that once we issued orders we were going to be standing outside ticketing people — that’s just not how it happens. Does the authority exist and can we move forward with it? Yes. Is it going to be an instantaneous process? It’s not.”
In short, these kids stood up to the man and won. They showed that mask enforcement is nigh impossible in high schools — and that school officials were more willing to be scolds than enforcers of an ineffective policy. The man behind the curtain has been exposed. And Ron Filipkowski doesn’t like it.
Exactly what does he think the police should do? If the students wanted to enter, should the enforcement have included the sheriff’s office blocking the doors for a health code violation, arresting and physically restraining teenagers?
The “general counsel for the woke mob” apparently thinks that might not be a bad idea — and he’s not afraid to throw that out there.
That should say everything.
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