School Board Won't Hear Mom's Plea

Child mask freedom activists will appear on Steel Truth Friday night

Although the young daughters of Emily Peterson and Kimberly Reicks are both safely at home—after enduring emotional distress as a result of being isolated at school because of their mask exemptions—the two Iowa residents are not giving up the fight to free children from mandatory wearing of face coverings.

“We’re fighting not just for our children, but for yours too,” said Reicks, 38, during an interview at the Health and Freedom Conference, held mid-April in the Tulsa area.

From the stage at that event, attended by 4,500 unmasked people, both women spoke about the ordeals they and their children underwent.

They also plan to speak at the next event on the Reopen America Tour, to be held June 17 to 19 in Tampa, Florida.

In addition to emotional distress as a result of being forced to stay six feet apart from other children, and mostly stay in a Plexiglas cage surrounding her desk, 6-year-old Olivia Reicks suffered a painful, unsightly staph infection near her mouth.

When school officials refused to remedy the situations facing their daughters, who attended Ankeny elementary schools, both mothers decided to home school their daughters.

Emily Peterson, who also has a mask exemption, spoke about the harmful treatment of her daughter, a 9-year-old special education student, at an Ankeny Community School District Board Meeting on April 5.

So when she stepped to the podium at a meeting on May 3 to deliver another short message, she was surprised when almost all the board members immediately left the chamber.

Only Board President Aaron Johnson remained to hear her speech.

Perhaps the fleeing members had heard that school board members in Vail, Arizona were recently asked to resign over the same masking issue—and did so.

Masking children is a form of abuse

Peterson told her single board member audience she had deep concerns about the harm being caused by the masks being forced on the children.

“I have presented large amounts of evidence showing these masks are harming children—specifically my child,” Peterson said, her voice loaded with passion. “But when I turned in a religious exemption for my daughter, your response was to stigmatize her, isolate her, by keeping her six feet away from her friends and others.”

Peterson said it was wrong to maintain a Plexiglas barrier around her desk at all times.

“My daughter was the one who was well, but she was treated as if she were diseased—and discriminated against,” said Peterson, a former elementary school teacher.

She said school officials were violating their own guidelines, which included consideration for special education students, including her daughter.

“You have seen the physical trauma these masks are causing too,” Peterson said, referring to Olivia Reicks, whose forced masking caused her to suffer a badly infected face, that required painful medical treatments.

“You heard from a frontline doctor who told you what you are forcing on children is hurting them physically and emotionally,” Peterson said, referring to Dr. James Meehan of Tulsa, who addressed the board at the April 19 meeting via a Zoom call.

“By definition abuse is harm caused to another and done repeatedly. That is what you are doing to our children. That is abuse.”

Many reports of children suffering

Peterson said she has heard from thousands of parents and grandparents, with stories of children suffering from face rashes, blisters, anxiety, depression and other serious problems.

Her own 3rd-grader hated going to school every day.

"'Please don’t make me wear this one more day,' my child cried every day. 'Don’t make me go back to school.'”

Peterson said she has seen parents crying because no one will allow them to choose what is best for their children. Instead they are forced to keep sending their children to school with masks, although it is hurting them in many different ways.

“Do you want us as parents to keep doing something that we know is causing them harm? Why would educators on this board demand this mask be worn?”

Peterson said that board members have the information about the harm the masking is causing, so they are without excuse.

“You are to serve the interests and concerns of the children and families of Ankeny. And you have failed,” said Peterson, of the Des Moines area city of 60,000 residents. “It’s time for new leadership. It’s time to hold people accountable for what you are choosing to do to our children.”

Peterson said she was at the meeting to speak on behalf of every child who did not want to be masked.

“Their voices have been taken away and muzzled,” she said. “How many more children will have to get bacterial infections, rashes, severe depression and anxiety, before you end this? The mandate has to end today. Let us as parents choose.”

Emily Peterson (at left) and Kimberly Reicks, advocates for children to attend school without masks or other restrictions, have been contacted by thousands of parents with stories of suffering as a result of those measures. The activist moms will be featured on Steel Truth news show, 9 p.m. Eastern, 6 Pacific time Friday, at

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