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Medford High School students participate in walkout over mask requirements

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MEDFORD, Wis. (WAOW) — Roughly two dozen Medford High School students left the school shortly after 8 am, carrying signs around the building and then further into town.

Their protest: to make masks optional for high school students.

Medford doesn't require masks for kindergarten through 4th grade, but does for 5th through high school.

The District's Superintendent, Pat Sullivan, says he fully supports the student's right to protest, but would rather hear from them and families at designated school board meetings, than interrupting the school day.

"There's over 500 kids still in the building wearing masks. I think what's important is those kids really need to get to a board meeting, or reach out because the high school principal is not going to make a decision on not wearing masks based on a walk-out," Sullivan said.

He did not say specifically what consequences would be given to the students who participated Friday, but in an email sent to parents earlier in the week, school administration warned of suspensions and fines if students left the building or removed their masks.

"There's a consequence for walking out of class without permission. We actually deal with that throughout the year," Sullivan said.

He said the decision lies in the hands of the board.

Students that chose to leave told News 9 that they had been suspended and fined that morning. However, they said they were not concerned with the consenquences.

"I could care less," Medford High School Junior Sarah Hamm said.

"Denying a child an education because they refuse to wear a mask is illegal," Medford High School Senior Christopher Hughs said.

There will be a school board meeting on April 26th and Sullivan encouraged students and parents to voice their concerns there.

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