Say What Now? Texas Dad Strips Down to Swimsuit at School Board Meeting to Make a Statement About Masks

A Texas father recently stripped nearly-naked at a school board meeting in order to make a point about wearing masks in schools.

via People:

Close to 30 minutes into the Dripping Springs Independent School District’s board meeting on Monday, James Akers took the microphone to express his thoughts about the mask requirement in schools.

Standing in front of the board members, Akers — who is a father to four kids, three of whom have already graduated and one of whom is currently in the high school — began arguing in support of mask protocols, noting that while they may be inconvenient, they are in place for a reason.

“I’m here to show you that I do not like government, or any other entity — just ask my wife — telling me what to do,” he said in a video of the meeting. “But, sometimes I’ve got to push the envelope a little bit, and I’ve just decided that I’m going to not just talk about it, but I’m going to walk the walk.”

Akers then began slowly removing his clothing pieces one by one as he went through several rules in society that people are expected to follow.

“At work, they make me wear this jacket. I hate it. They make me wear this shirt and tie. I hate it,” he said.

Then he seemed to speak sarcastically about other important rules, such as safe driving guidelines, that people know cannot be ignored.

“On the way over here, I ran three stop signs and four red lights,” he said. “I almost killed somebody out there but by God, it’s my world too so I have every right to drive as fast as I want to and make the turns that I want to.”

The dad of four also claimed he parked in a handicapped spot at the school because the lot was full when he arrived and he wanted to park “wherever the hell I want to.”

By that point, Akers was standing in what appeared to be underwear only and surrounded by several school officers. Some people in the audience were cheering for him, while others were yelling to remove him from the building.

“It’s simple protocol, people. We follow certain rules. We follow certain rules for a very good reason,” he finished before being asked by Board President Barbara Stroud to put on his clothes.

Though Akers appeared to wear underwear in the video, Dale Whitaker, a spokesperson for Dripping Springs Independent School District (DSISD) tells PEOPLE he was actually wearing a swimsuit.

Following his speech, Akers spoke to NBC affiliate KXAN, where he doubled down on his point.

“There are too many voices out there that I think are digging in for political reasons, and absolutely just not thinking about the common-sense decisions we make every day to comply with everything, from driving down the road and being safe and courteous to other drivers, to not parking in handicapped spots,” he explained to the outlet. “All these rules that we’re given every day that we follow because they make sense.”

When contacted by PEOPLE, Whitaker did not provide a comment on the incident but said the district is continuing “to monitor conditions, as well as guidance coming from state and local agencies.”

Akers’ impassioned speech comes as Texas deals with the surge of COVID-19due to the more contagious Delta variant.

In March, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that Texas would end all mask mandates. By July, he issued an executive order that banned the government, including public school districts, from setting forth requirements for wearing masks.

Two Texas counties responded by seeking restraining orders against enforcement of the rule, but the state Supreme Court upheld the order.

The Dripping Springs Independent School District published a Health Protocol document on Aug. 6 that stated masks were optional in schools. Ten days later, the school board said masks were recommended, but not mandatory, despite the surging cases, according to the Community Impact Newspaper.

Hays County, where the Dripping Springs Independent School District is located, has reported more than 27,000 COVID-19 cases and 300 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, The New York Times reported.

People on all sides of the mask mandate are losing it. Watch the video below — the dad starts to strip around the 26-minute mark.

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