James Akers, a parent of a high schooler in the Dripping Springs Independent School District, attended the meeting where members of the public were given 90 seconds each to share their opinions.
While most comments were centered around parents urging the district to stick to education and not worry about enforcing mask mandates, Akers had opposite feelings and decided to show, as well as tell.
According to the San Marcos Record, Akers took off his tie, then his shirt, then his undershirt and his pants as he explained that he doesn’t like the government, or anyone else telling him what to do.
“At work, they make me wear this jacket. I hate it. They make me wear this shirt and tie. I hate it,” he said as he stripped.
Akers continued his speech with irony.
“On the way over here, I ran three stop signs and four red lights. I almost killed somebody out there, but by God, they’re my roads too. So I have every right to drive as fast as I want to, make the turns that I want to. I got over here to the school today, and the parking lot was full, and I decided I was going to park wherever the hell I wanted to — which, in this case, happened to be a handicap [spot],” he said, according to the San Marcos Record.
Police started entering the room at this point and Akers was left standing in his swimming trunks.
“It’s simple protocol, people,” Akers said of mask mandates, We follow certain rules for a very good reason.”
According to a report from KXAN, officers did not remove Akers, who went over his 90-second allotted time, and DSISD board president Barbara Stroud said “Mr. Akers, I understand — I believe you’re a swimmer — but if you would mind putting your pants back on for a comment, that would be appreciated.”
DSISD officials have not commented on the incident but in a follow-up interview with KXAN on Tuesday, Akers said he chose to speak because tensions have been running high and masks are only “recommended as an option” by the district currently, but not mandated for staff or students.
“There are too many voices out there that I think are digging in for political reasons, and absolutely just not thinking about the common-sense decisions we make every day to comply with everything from driving down the road and being safe and courteous to other drivers to not parking in handicapped spots,” Akers told KXAN.
In San Antonio, a woman was carried out of a Northside Independent School District board meeting Tuesday night after removing her mask and refusing to put it back on. The woman arrived in compliance with the district’s mask mandate, which was approved last week, but removed her face covering before the meeting started.