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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.- Dozens of people stood outside the Huntsville City School Board meeting on Tuesday to protest the district’s decision to require face coverings.

Huntsville City Schools was the first North Alabama district to announce students and staff will be required to wear masks, regardless of their vaccination status.

“Tough decisions are rarely fun, they are rarely easy to make but I’ll say it again, rest assured I’m going to sleep great at night knowing we made the best decision for the health and safety of our students and staff,” says HCS Board member Ryan Renaud.

Parents against the district’s mandatory mask policy held signs and chanted outside the Annie C. Merts Administrative Building and also entered the board room to show their disapproval of the board’s decision. Some against mandatory masking say it violates their freedom.

“It’s your freedom that’s being stripped away and our soldiers fought for your freedom, Jesus Christ fought for your freedom you need to fight for your freedom. I am fighting for my children’s freedom,” says HSC parent Jessica Dixon.

Other parents showed up to support the board’s decision to implement masking.

“I think they need to continue masking in HCS just because we don’t know what the situation is right now with COVID, with the delta variant and I think until they get a better handle on everything involved everyone still needs to mask up,” says HCS parent Michelle Matthews.

School board members reminded the public that since the mask mandate was put in place, the district has re-opened enrollment for Huntsville Virtual Academy.

Registration for the Huntsville Virtual Academy will be open until 8 am on Monday, August 9th. The district wants to remind parents that HVA enrollment is a semester-long commitment.