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LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Some parents are reacting strongly to the new school mask mandate from Gov. Andy Beshear.

A group formed outside the Fayette County Public Schools Central Office, sharing their reasons for thinking students should and shouldn’t wear masks.

Yesterday, Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order requiring masks inside all K-12 schools and childcare facilities. He said state health officials supported the decision due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Some parents in Fayette County did not like that idea. They believe masks interfere with students’ learning. One mother feels parents should make the ultimate decisions regarding their children’s safety.

“Truly, it’s not even about the masks. It’s about the lack of freedom,” said Kendall Pische. “Mandating a mask leads to the next thing that they take away from us, taking away any other rights that we have.”

Some, though, are defending the governor’s mask mandate. They said COVID-19 is not selective on who it targets.

“This is a worldwide highly contagious deadly disease, so a person’s personal choice not to get vaccinated and not to be masked means they can spread it to me, even though I’m fully vaccinated,” said Chuck Eddy.

District officials did not come outside while parents were protesting. Fayette County instituted a mask mandate even before Gov. Beshear signed the executive order. Officials said it was a matter of keeping students and teachers safe.

The district did release a statement in response to Tuesday’s protest.

It read, “Our students are having a great first day of school, and it’s wonderful to have everyone back together on campus.”