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‘Psychological child abuse.’ Listen to Rep. Cawthorn slam NC district’s mask mandate

A congressman dropped in on a North Carolina school board meeting — and slammed the district’s COVID-19 mask mandate.

“Forcing our children to wear a mask is nothing short of psychological child abuse,” U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, a Republican, told Buncombe County Schools officials on Thursday.

The remarks came after leaders in the Asheville-area district voted 4-2 to require unvaccinated students and workers to wear face masks when the school year starts on Aug. 23, WLOS reported. Cawthorn joined more than two dozen people who spoke about the decision during the school board’s public comment period, according to the TV station.

“I’ve witnessed swampy back-door tactics from corrupt bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., but what you have done here today puts that all to shame,” Cawthorn said in a video of the meeting posted to YouTube.

Cawthorn criticized the mandate as health officials have recommend everyone mask up if they work at or attend K-12 schools this fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges people to wear face coverings inside schools, even if they are vaccinated.

This story will be updated.

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Simone Jasper is a reporter covering breaking stories for The News & Observer and real-time news in the Carolinas.

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