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Anti-mask demonstrators return to school despite court order

September 11, 2021 GMT

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Protesters returned to the grounds of a Vancouver, Washington high school Friday despite a judge’s attempts to quash demonstrations there.

At Skyview High School protesters including Joey Gibson, founder of the Vancouver-based far-right group Patriot Prayer, were among a crowd of about 40 people, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

Demonstrators blared music and talked and some arguments occurred when drivers told protesters to find other ways to fight masking requirements.

Some in the crowd held signs opposing mask mandates in Washington schools meant to slow a current surge of COVID-19 cases. Others, including Gibson, said this protest stemmed from a court order halting protests that disrupt education services in Vancouver.

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Clark County Superior Court Judge Suzan Clark ordered the injunction Tuesday in response response to previous vitriolic anti-mask protests near Skyview, including a Sept. 3 protest that included members of the far-right extremist Proud Boys which culminated with administrators placing three campuses into lockdown.

If a person knowingly violates a civil injunction, they may face consequences at a judge’s discretion, such as fines or even jail time.

Vancouver Public Schools have placed a heightened number of district resource officers at Skyview in anticipation of protests and are coordinating with law enforcement. In a letter to families, the district said one protester “briefly came onto Skyview’s property and was asked to leave.”