Republican Party of Bexar County joins anti-mask groups for protests in San Antonio Friday

Groups held protests in front of San Antonio and Bexar County headquarters

SAN ANTONIO – The Republican Party of Bexar County joined forces with anti-mask groups Friday to protest the new mask mandates issued by Bexar County and San Antonio officials.

The first protest was held at 11 a.m. outside the Bexar County Courthouse located at 100 Dolorosa. Bexar GOP members stood alongside members of Unmask.SanAntonio and Unmask our Kids San Antonio for what organizers said was a “peaceful protest to protect parent choice of masking children in schools.”

More than 50 people rallied outside the courthouse to fight for the right of parent choice.

“My son is 14-years-old, and in those 14 years, I’ve had to make thousands of decisions, risk assessments on what is best for him,” Alexis Wylder said. “I’ve successfully gotten him this far in life. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be allowed to continue doing that as his parent.”

Parents like Kristen King said they don’t want to co-parent with the government. “It’s important because we live in America and this is our freedom at stake here,” King said, “If I want my kids to wear a mask (they’ll) wear one, (and) if I don’t, then they won’t.”

Republican Party of Bexar County joins anti-mask groups for protests in San Antonio Friday (Copyright 2021 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

The second planned protest is scheduled for 2 p.m. outside San Antonio City Hall at 100 Plaza De Armas. Bexar GOP members will join with members of Parents United for Freedom for this protest.

The protest comes after Bexar County and San Antonio officials issued a mask mandate for public schools in direct defiance of Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order that prohibits governmental entities, like schools, from doing so.

Bexar County Civil District Court Judge Antonia Arteaga granted a temporary restraining order to Bexar County Tuesday night allowing the move which goes against Abbott’s executive order.

Shortly after their request was granted, Bexar County Health Authority issued a health directive that states all schools in the county should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mask guidelines, which will require all students, staff, teachers and visitors ages 2 and older to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.

Chairman of the Republican Party of Bexar County, John Austin, said “Parents are the best arbiters of what is best for their children and these mandates are against parental rights and the rights to parent our children in the manner we see fit. We are not co-parenting with the city and the county.”

The temporary restraining order is only in effect until Monday, Aug. 16, when Judge Arteaga will hold another hearing to determine if the injunction will stay in place permanently.

Bexar County isn’t the only Texas county to implement a mask mandate this week. Mask-wearing in public schools is now mandatory in all four of Texas’ most populous counties.

About the Authors

Alicia Barrera is a KSAT 12 News reporter and anchor. She is also a co-host of the streaming show KSAT News Now. Alicia is a first-generation Mexican-American, fluent in both Spanish and English with a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. She enjoys reading books, traveling solo across Mexico and spending time with family.

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