Chicago-area parents rally for school principal removed after making masks optional

on Feb14
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Parents and kids in a Chicago suburb rallied in support of a Catholic school principal who was removed from his position last week after telling families that masks would be optional in school going forward.

Principal Jacob “Doc” Mathius of Queen of Martyrs Catholic School in Evergreen Park was placed on administrative leave Tuesday by the Archdiocese of Chicago, a day after sending a letter to families about his decision of making masks optional for students, faculty and staff, parents told FOX32 Chicago last week.

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In the letter, Mathius had written that COVID-19 measures have become more harmful than the virus itself.

Parents and students rally in support of principal who was place on leave for making masks optional.

Parents and students rally in support of principal who was place on leave for making masks optional.
(FOX 32 CHICAGO)

“I have reached this determination as I perceive … that the social-emotional toll that continuing COVID protocols have taken on many of our students have become more toxic than the COVID virus itself,” Mathius wrote, in part.

Mathius, who served at Brother Rice High School for 43 years and is a U.S. Navy Reserve veteran, received a strong show of support from parents and students in the form of two rallies within the past week, the station reported. 

The latest rally came on Sunday, when dozens of parents and students gathered outside the school in bitter cold weather and held signs reading “Reinstate Doc” and “No More Masks.”

Parents and students held signs reading "Reinstate Doc" and "No More Masks."

Parents and students held signs reading “Reinstate Doc” and “No More Masks.”
(FOX 32 CHICAGO)

“He took a stand. I’ve never met the guy, but I appreciate what he did, and I think he’s right,” Jim Coogan told WLS-TV. “And I really hope he’s back in school this week.”

Fox News Digital reached out to the Archdiocese of Chicago for comment on Mathius’ reported removal and his current employment status but did not immediately hear back.

Local outlets have reported that the archdiocese has said that it doesn’t discuss personnel matters. 

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The removal of Mathius comes after a Sangamon County Circuit Court judge issued a temporary restraining order against Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s mask requirement in schools, ruling that the Democrat overstepped his authority, FOX32 reported.

The Archdiocese of Chicago has since made masks optional for its schools, except for schools in Chicago, Oak Park and Evanston where local health departments issued orders making masks a requirement, according to the station.



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