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Make Masking Optional - Billings Public Schools



How you can get Involved

Does the data support masking our kids in school?

Using the data from the DPHHS weekly school demographic report we compared mandatory masked schools to optional masked schools in Yellowstone County – and the local area. Yellowstone County has 18,340 students in mandatory masked schools compared to *Estimated 7,378 students in optional masked schools. To compare the data, we normalized the data per 10,000 students. We found that:

  • 4.29% of students in mandatory masked schools tested positive compared to only 3.44% of students in optional masked schools.
  • Mandatory masked schools reported a higher number of cases in 9 out of 14 weeks this fall per 10,000 students.
  • This data is publicly available data from Riverstone Health and the DPHHS .
  • A mitigation strategy that is not working but has negative consequences should not be continued another day.
Unmask Comparison graph Montana Statistics has the full data comparing students in Yellowstone County in mask optional schools to mandatory masked schools.

Find us on FaceBook

Make Masking Optional Billings Public Schools runs a FaceBook page where like minded parents, grandparents, stakeholders and guardians can connect with others who support the right of parents and families to make private healthcare decisions for themselves. The Facebook group is where we keep you updated all the latest news and events surrounding this topic.

Find us on FaceBook


What is "Make Masking Optional"?

MMO started as a facebook and is a group of parents, grandparents, community members who believe that mandating masks in public schools is a decision that is best left up to the parents/guardians to make those decisions. We established the website makemaskingoptional.com in order to give another place for community members to be a part of the movement without having to be a part of the facebook group. Medical freedom is the core of our beliefs. We are just tax paying citizens of this community (Yellowstone County, Montana) that believe that parents/guardians are the best risk assessors for their children, not the government run public school system. We believe one size fits all medical advice is dangerous. We believe that Billings Public Schools and Elysian Schools have overstepped their power by forcing mask mandates on their students, staff, and visitors.

Why not just wear a mask?

We believe that there are many reasons why an individual may not be able to or should not be required to wear a mask. We believe that each individual should be allowed to decide for themselves if they should wear a mask. We believe that masks can cause physical, emotional, psychological and educational issues when worn in school settings. Dr Graham an infectious disease MD in Billings has spoken about masking in schools, you can hear his thoughts about masking in school on episode 143 of "the paradocs" podcast: The Paradocs Episode 143. Dr Graham on this episode of the Paradocs podcast makes a couple statements.

  • "kids are in school for 6 hours a day while the masks ‘might’ give them 2 minutes to 30 minutes of added protection if they actually wore the mask.” He says, “masks won't make a difference at all in reality."

  • He says we need to understand that kids are going to get covid. “Everybody is going to get covid. If you live long enough you will get covid multiple times.”

  • Dr Larsen points out in Germany there were some states that mandated n95 masks and it made no difference in the spread of the virus.

  • “If you have a policy it has to work in the real world and if it doesn’t work in the real world it doesn’t matter how brilliant you think it is it doesn’t matter.”

We believe parents are very good at risk assessment and should be allowed to decide for their own families what is right for their children. We feel very strongly that the negative impact of masking on our kids is hurting their educational experience.

Why not just pull your kids out of Billings Public Schools and Elysian and find a school that has optional masking or home school your child?

Just like we don't support one size fits all medical advice we don't support one size fits all educational advice. Here are a few points to consider when making an education decision for your child.

  • Does your child thrive in remote or home school setting? This is a great solution for many but not all children. We have many supporters who have made this decision for their child, and it was the best decision they could have made. We support their right to make that decision. However, home school is not for every family or every child. If all of our supporters pulled our kids out of public schools and home schooled or found a private school; that would harm the public school, teachers, staff and budgets. This would leave a huge mess for the kids who are left in the system, without alternative options. We believe that every family should make the decision that is best for themselves. (Are you seeing the theme yet?)

  • There are not enough spots in Yellowstone County private or county schools to absorb all of the students who want mask optional environment. Most of the county schools and private schools are nearly full and don't have room for transfer students. (many of us looked into it)

  • We are paying taxes to fund local public education. My tax bill contained an itemized breakdown. 38% of my property taxes went to fund Public Education (double the next item on the list, city taxes), most of that to SD2. My taxes are paying for these schools. My kids have a constitutional right to attend these schools without conditions. If I think my kids should be there, they have every right to be there in person, without condition like covering their face when they are not sick. If you or your child is sick, stay home.
Why should my kids be the ones who are forced to change schools, when the majority of the community agrees that masking should be optional? Take a look around next time you go out in public. Everyone has the same opportunity to choose to mask in public and we see the majority of folks are unmasked. We see from history as recently as the 2009 H1N1 pandemic that masks were not recommended. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic affected young people at a much higher rate than COVID-19 and you never heard the "experts" call for masking in schools. 12% of the deaths from H1N1 were in those under 17 years of age and we never saw quarantines, masks or any of the "Covid Theater" we see today recommended. The science has not changed since 2009.

What is Bodily Autonomy

Body autonomy is the right for a person to govern what happens to their body without external influence or coercion. This is an important concept for all children to be taught and to understand. A child who knows that they are in control of their body is less likely to fall victim to sexual abuse, sexual assault and later intimate partner violence. Mandating masks and vaccines undermines Bodily Autonomy. Either we are free to decide what goes on our body and into our body or we don't have bodily autonomy and Government can mandate anything about what goes into or on our body "for health and safety". This matters, This matters to us now and to us in the future. makemaskingoptional.com believes in absolute Bodily Autonomy as a fundamental human right.


We exist as a group to end the mandatory masking for students and staff of Billings Public Schools, located in Billings Montana. This group is for all parents, teachers, staff, grandparents, guardians and stakeholders in education in Billings Montana to attend board meetings and email the school board to encourage them to repeal their mandatory mask policy. This group exists to unite people in school district 2 for the sole purpose of removing the mandatory masking policy in school district 2. The goal is to be firm and persuasive but respectful to reach our goal.