COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) — The Coeur d’Alene School District’s Board of Trustees canceled a special meeting on Friday to consider a temporary COVID-19 mask mandate after protesters swarmed the building.
The crowd gathered outside of the Midtown Center Meeting Room at 1 p.m., KREM-TV reported.
The meeting agenda included a reopening plan for the 2021-2022 school year, including masking and quarantine.
Earlier this month the board adopted a plan that strongly recommends masks be worn in schools. The school district has seen hundreds of positive COVID-19 cases since the first day of school Sept. 7.
The meeting was postponed officials said for safety reasons after the crowd banged on doors and shouted at police.
A video tweeted a reporter for KREM shows a large group of people standing outside of the meeting room chanting, “No more masks.”
Estimated at up to 200 people, the group then moved to the district’s administrative center, which was placed on lockdown for safety precautions. Many protesters said school board members should be fired for refusing to hold the meeting.
Idaho’s coronavirus numbers have continued to surge, leading to record-high hospitalization rates. And the state’s coronavirus vaccination rates remain among the lowest in the nation, with only about 51% of eligible residents fully vaccinated.
The coronavirus mainly spreads through droplets that are emitted when people talk, shout, cough and sneeze. Masks lower the likelihood of those droplets reaching other people.