DALLAS — Protesters targeted a Dallas ISD elementary school in North Dallas Thursday to decry mask rules that the superintendent says will remain in place at least through the first of the year.
Protesters lined the sidewalk in front of George Bannerman Dealey Montessori Vanguard and International Academy on Royal Lane as parents picked up their children at the end of the day. They carried signs against masks, signs against "the media," and signs against child abuse, which is what they say DISD's mask rules amount to.
"Separate is not equal. What happened to love your neighbor. What happened to choice," said protester Vicky Little, who admitted she does not have a child who attends the school, nor could we find anyone in the group of approximately 30 protesters who did.
But Little says they organized the protest after hearing reports about Dealey separating kids who won't wear masks from the rest of the students who do.
"We dealt with segregation years and year and years ago. And now its happening again based on medical segregation. And that's unacceptable," said protester Tammy Brown Rodriguez.
But, in an interview Thursday, DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa remained unapologetic.
In a policy first announced back in August, he says students who won't wear masks will continue to be given separate learning areas, like libraries, from students who do. DISD is keeping its mask-wearing policy in place despite orders to the contrary from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
"A super, super majority of the people are pleased with us and we may have to make a few adjustments on a case by case basis but we still want to move forward with this," Hinojosa said.
Dealey parents we did talk to didn't want to wade into the issue on camera. But one dad in the afternoon pickup line had taken the time to tape his own signs of support to the side of his SUV.
"Dealey Dragons wear masks," one side said on his vehicle. "We support Teachers and Admins," said the other.
Meanwhile, the DISD superintendent says COVID-19 numbers are improving and that mask rules will likely be revisited at the start of the year.
"I'm asking people just to hang with us a little bit longer. And we get to the next threshold and everybody else is going to be in a much better situation," Hinojosa said.
DISD would not confirm how many children, either at Dealey or other campuses, remain in separate learning areas due to the refusal to wear a mask.