LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - After two hours of discussion between Lawton City Council members, and those for and against the mask mandate, council voted to table any action until the first meeting in October.
The meeting started with the mayor, and council deciding each side would be granted fifteen minutes each to make their arguments.
The first group was the Southwest Oklahoma Freedom Fighters, there to get the mandate repealed, and the city wide signage to be taken down.
One group spokesman said the decision was disappointing, but he wanted to make it clear this was never about the masks.
He said it was about personal freedom, giving people the choice to make their own health choices.
For the freedom fighters, they said they plan to move forward with their goal even though they’re unsure of how to go about it.
They said Council putting this off until October makes him concerned about their belief in the community.
”It’s evident that a lot of the things said by the mayor, by council tonight that this governing body has no faith in it’s citizenry whatsoever. There’s no faith that the people of Lawton can act social responsible. and do what they want to look out for one another, “said Chad Hernandez, with SWOK Freedom Fighters
After their 15 minutes, local health experts spoke about the desire to keep masks in place.and how they have helped lower the total case number in Lawton, since July 17th when the mandate went into place.
Their points focused on the mandate making others feel safe, helping the vulnerable portions of the population feel comfortable to get back out into the real world.
They also discussed the impact on local business, citing many of them have seen the benefits, because of the people not being afraid to get into a store, because they know everyone should be in a mask.
”We have some work to do. There were some valid points brought up by the other side, not shaming those not wearing them. I think council, the hospitals and the health department have the same goal, to work towards the safety of the public. I think we’ve taken a right step,” said Dr. Daniel Joyce.
Another group that spoke was LPS.
The board president and superintendent came to discuss the mask policy plan in school.
They said out of 4000 survey responses, 88.9 percent of families responded positively towards the masks in school.