Nevada first-grader goes viral for refusing to remove face mask for school photos

“I always listen to my mom!” the young boy told the school photographer

COVID-19 face mask and school supplies. (Julie Moreno, KSAT)

NEVADA – A first-grader in Nevada is going viral after refusing to take off his face mask during school photos because his mother told him not to, according to a report from The Washington Post.

Six-year-old Mason was eager for his first-grade photos after having recently lost four teeth. However, when the school photographer gave him the OK to remove his face mask before snapping his photo, he respectfully declined, The Post reports.

The reason? His mother, Nicole Peoples, told him not to.

Photographer: Ok, take your mask off. Mason: My mom said to keep it on all the time unless I'm eating and far away from...

Posted by Nicole Peoples on Monday, September 20, 2021

According to Mason’s mother, the conversation between him and the photographer went something like this:

  • Photographer: “Ok, take your mask off.”
  • Mason: “My mom said to keep it on all the time unless I’m eating and far away from everybody.”
  • Photographer: “I’m sure it’s ok to take it off for your pictures.”
  • Mason: “No, my mom seriously told me to make sure to keep it on.”
  • Photographer: “Are you sure you don’t want to take it off for 2 seconds?”
  • Mason: “No Thank you, I always listen to my mom!”
  • Photographer: “Ok, say cheese!”

Peoples shared the exchange on social media last week, which has since gone viral with over 5,000 likes and over 16,000 shares.

She said she’s proud of her son for how he held true to his own, even though she believes she should’ve clarified.

“I’m so proud of him for sticking to his word but I should have been more clear about my rules on this day,” Peoples said on social media.

Peoples reviewed some guidelines for Mason to follow before the start of the school year. She told The Post that he agreed to not drink water from the fountain, to keep his mask on except when eating or drinking, and to wash his hands regularly.

After the school photo was published, Peoples told The Post she and her husband agreed to purchase it and add it to the family’s photo wall, due to it’s “special meaning.”

“The photo is just a great memory of what’s going on and how the kids are overcoming it.” Peoples told The Post. “It has a really special meaning because it shows how proud he was to listen and to follow my directions. Even when I wasn’t there to remind him, he remembered.”

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About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.