GLEN ELLYN, Illinois - Police have been stationed outside a suburban Chicago elementary school because of anti-mask protesters, with some going as far as to call students walking to school "Hitler youth."
Students in Illinois public schools are required by the state to wear masks. Anti-mask protesters have been gathered outside Forest Glen Elementary School in Glen Ellyn, holding up signs that say "Honk if you support us."
Some parents said that protesters are also yelling insults and things like "Hitler Youth."
FOX 32 Chicago talked with two protesters on Wednesday.
"We're grandparents, parents, we're adults, we are patriotic loving people," one anti-mask protester said. "They accuse us of a lot of things. It's sad what America has come to."
District 41 School Board President Bob Bruno said that it's noisy and dangerous. He wants a buffer zone to keep students safe.
"They have provided a police presence, which is certainly very helpful but we continue to talk with them about additional measures which we think protect First Amendment rights, but really do improve the safety measures in that intersection. Because we don't want anybody hurt," Bruno said. "There’s harassment. There’s a lot of noise at a difficult intersection. Children cross there. We’ve grown increasingly concerned about the safety of children, their mental well-being. The fact that they’re exposed to this kind of harsh rhetoric that is directed at them is deeply problematic."
"We're out here every day," said District 41 Superintendent Melissa Kaczkowski. "We have staff members so that the kids encounter friendly faces and we’re willing to walk them to school if that’s what they need. Our primary focus is getting our kids to school safely and allowing the protesters to continue to protest peacefully but safety is our first goal and our first priority."