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Column: Enough is enough

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This is the cowboy way.

Last week I was kicked out of a classroom for not wearing a mask. Is this really what Oklahoma State has come to? 

When I was offered one by the professor, I shook my head no and was told to leave. I left without saying a word.

My heart was pounding and I was confused. What just happened? Was I really just kicked out of a classroom for refusing a mask? Really?

I had done my research prior to the class. Senate Bill 658 informed me that a mask could not be required of me within a school setting in the state of Oklahoma. Knowing this, I decided to take a stand. 

Multiple phone calls with the governor’s office confirmed what I already knew. This instance occurred before the mandate injunction was passed by Oklahoma County District Judge, Natalie Mai.

The amount of support I got for this was overwhelming. I have had an abundance of encouragement from students, faculty and even parents of other students, many of whom I have never met. 

Others have asked me, “Why don’t you just wear a mask for a couple of hours?” And, “Why can’t you just deal with it instead of making it a problem?”

Here is my answer.

If I believed that it was just a mask, then, of course, I would simply wear it for an hour or two and then go about my day.

But it is more than a mask. It’s control. It’s control over my choices, desires and body. I will not allow any institution to take away my right to decide for myself what is best and to make my own decisions, or to take away the rights and decisions of others. 

Students at Oklahoma State need to wake up and realize they have a voice. They have the right to make their own decisions, to make their own choices, to decide for themselves what is best for them. 

This is not about protecting you. This is about the university trying to appease the faculty after receiving threats of possible ‘civil disobedience.’

Your voice, the student voice, is loud. It can be heard. There is strength in numbers and the students outnumber the faculty by a great deal.

What is going on at Oklahoma State is troubling. The “back door” approach to mask requirements is both concerning and laughable. 

The school may think that they are avoiding legal consequences by putting the “authority” for mask requirements in the hands of the professors, but the discrimination that has already occurred is a major cause for concern when it comes to future repercussions. 

I have reached out to the legal counsel of the school multiple times and received no response. 

Students are ready to live life again, and I think the football game last weekend was a perfect example of how true that statement is.

editorinchief@ocolly.com