YouTube Censors, then Reinstates Chicago-Area School Board Meeting Where Parents Opposed Mask Mandates

AP Photo/Reed Saxon
AP Photo/Reed Saxon

YouTube has reinstated a video it censored of a school board meeting in Lake Forest, Illinois, which featured several concerned parents speaking out against mask mandates on their children.

“Upon further review, we’re reinstating the Lake Forest School District’s video,” a YouTube spokesperson told Breitbart News. “We have policies in place to allow content that might otherwise violate our policies as long as it includes educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic (EDSA) context.”

“In line with our EDSA policies, the video is available again on YouTube,” the video-sharing platform added.

YouTube had previously scrubbed a Lake Forest District 115 school board meeting from its platform, according to a report by Reclaim The Net.

“Our understanding is that people reported the content to youtube as a violation of its terms, which triggered the removal while youtube reviews,” tweeted WGN TV News reporter Ben Bradley on Monday, reacting to another Twitter user who questioned why a video of a public school board meeting had violated YouTube’s guidelines.

Another Twitter user pointed out that “numerous parents spoke against required masking” at the school board meeting, and that the video was removed before she could finish listening to it.

“The video was up as of 10:30 or so last night. (I was watching it.),” the Twitter user said. “When I went back to finish listening this morning, it was gone.”

According to YouTube, its “Community Guidelines” include policies for medical misinformation about the Chinese coronavirus, and the platform removes content in violation of the guidelines by using a mixture of artificial intelligence and human evaluators to flag and review content in question.

If the content is deemed to be in the context of educational, documentary, scientific, or artist material, then YouTube says it is willing to make an exception and keep the content on its platform.

The debate on requiring students to wear masks has intensified in many school districts in Chicago’s suburbs, according to a report by WGN TV.

“At this point, there should be a choice,” said concerned parent Peter Demos. “I think with 18 months into the pandemic, there’s enough data out there — and scientific studies that could make an agreement for both sides of this debate.”

“It’s so important that our children have the choice whether they want to mask or not mask,” added concerned parent Allison Graf. “To all of the sudden require masks or certain restrictions of putting them on our kids to be allowed to go into the building is just asinine.”

The Illinois State Board of Education says it is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s recommendations to require masks for those who are not fully vaccinated, reports WGN TV.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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