SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — On Friday, dozens of parents and students gathered in front of Pershing School as part of a protest against the district’s masking mandate and other rules surrounding COVID-19.

Members of the group chanted “No more masks!” as they gathered outside, holding signs with messages like “Free to choose,” “Masks get in the way of learning,” and “Make SPS great again”

Parents posted about the plans in a public Facebook group called Springfield Public Schools – Parents Speak Out! after Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said he wants parents to report schools enforcing mask mandates.

On Dec. 8, Springfield Public Schools released a letter saying the district has repeatedly shared its intent to remove the masking requirement in January.

SPS acknowledged receiving the letter about COVID-19 measures from the attorney general. According to the district, there is a 30-day period before the decision from the Cole County Circuit Court is final.

SPS states attorneys are looking over the ruling and says COVID-19 protocols will remain in place until the semester ends on Dec. 22.