GLEN ELLYN, Ill. — Some parents say anti-mask protesters are getting out of hand outside of a Glen Ellyn elementary school.
The corner of Forest Glen Elementary School has become a battleground with parents saying they’re fed up with the protesters harassing their children as they walk to school.
The anti-mask protesters claim they’re making a point about government overreach.
Former GOP state representative and gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives was at the school again Tuesday.
“We’re standing up for our children, we’re standing up for our individual rights and these people want to be an arm of the government,” Ives said.
Parents at the school said the anti-mask protests have been staged since the start of the school year and some have been hostile, bordering on bullying.
The frustrations boiled over at village board meeting where parents pleaded with elected officials to do something.
“They’re basically calling the children slaves,” a parent said. “One gentleman likes to say, ‘heil Hitler,’ or call the Hitler youth. It’s offensive to me.”
Police chief Philip Norton responded by telling parents he was powerless to stop the protests.
“Under the First Amendment, people have that right,” he said. “This hasn’t risen to the level of yelling fire in a crowded movie theater. It distresses us as a police department to have our hands ties in how we can react.”
District 41 School Board President Robert Bruno also asked the village to find a solution.
“A child’s walk to school should not be subject to threats, intimidation, or menace,” he said.
Gov. Pritzker, who ordered masks be worn in all schools back in August, said Tuesday that masking remains an important public safety measure.
District 41 did not respond to a request for comment.