Cawthorn protests North Carolina school board mask mandate, compares to 'psychological child abuse'

The freshman congressman is among the most outspoken House Republicans against mask mandates.
Madison Cawthorn.
U.S. Rep Madison Cawthorn at Conservative Political Action Conference uly 09, 2021 in Dallas, Texas.
(Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn attended a school board meeting in home state North Carolina to personally oppose a COVID-19 mask mandate for in-person learning.

Cawthorn made his case Thursday when showed up to protest the Buncombe County Schools Board of Education's decision to institute the mandate for the forthcoming school year. 

The measure, which passed Thursday morning in 4-2 vote, will require face coverings be worn by all students and staffers while inside.

The freshman congressman told school officials they have "muzzled" children and are stifling the voices of parents who object to the mandate. Cawthorn added that the measure is "nothing short of psychological child abuse."

Protesters prompted the board to take another vote on the measure, which the board declined to do. 

Cawthorn has frequently voiced opposition to mask mandates, joining a group of roughly 40 House Republicans who recently protested the chamber's requirement to reinstitute a mask mandate. 

he congressman reportedly called the threat of arresting those who do not conform to the House's mandate, "medical apartheid."