Hundreds protest mask, vaccine mandates Saturday night on Mandeville lakefront

Hundreds protest mask, vaccine mandates Saturday night on Mandeville lakefront

A crowd of perhaps a few hundred people gathered at the Mandeville lakefront on Saturday night to protest mask and vaccine mandates and, according to some speakers, general government overreach. The crowd was armed with American flags of all sizes — and some with guns — and some carried signs with slogans like “I call the shot not you,” and “socialism sucks.” Saturday’s event comes on the heels of two recent St. Tammany School Board meetings where a group of parents and some others criticized school officials for following the state mask mandate in public schools. The School Board, in response, has asked the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to make masks in voluntary in St. Tammany schools. It also comes just days after St. Tammany Parish government officials joined with some area doctors to plead with residents to get vaccinated and wear masks to helo stop the spread. The doctors said the parish’s alarming spike in COVID cases is overwhelming the health care system. Neither St. Tammany Parish nor the state have mandated vaccines. Gov. John Bel Edwards has issued a statewide mask order. Since the start of the pandemic, St. Tammany has had the fifth-most cases in the state, with more than 29,000 and 538 deaths. Jonathan Koeppel, a former St. Tammany Parish teacher who said he was recently terminated for refusing to wear a mask though he claimed a medical exemption, said “People are literally stealing our freedoms and they’re doing it in the […]

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