Texas man strips down during school board meeting to make point about mask mandates

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DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — Less than half an hour into a Texas school board meeting Monday, parent James Akers revealed his thoughts on mask requirements in schools – and a bit more of himself.

“I do not like government, or any other entity — just ask my wife — telling me what to do,” he said. “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 removing articles of clothing as he outlined all the different laws and social expectations people are expected to follow: stopping at red lights, wearing professional attire at work and not parking in handicapped parking spots. Wearing a mask, he said, is one of those things people should do for the safety of others.

Akers ended his public comment sans shirt or pants, standing in a swimsuit as meeting attendees laughed, applauded or shouted at him.

“It’s simple protocol, people,” he said. “We follow certain rules. We follow certain rules for a very good reason.”

Officers did not remove him, but he put his clothes back on at the board president’s request before leaving the microphone.

A spokesperson for Dripping Springs ISD declined to comment on Akers’ public remarks.

In an interview Tuesday, Akers said the decision to speak before the board came as tensions and divisions are running high in the district. Masks are currently recommended as an option but are not mandated for students, staff and other district personnel.

“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,” he said. “All these rules that we’re given every day that we follow because they make sense.”

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