YouTube Bans Kansas School Board’s Video Over COVID Comments

By The Associated Press — May 21, 2021 1 min read
Image shows a pile of surgical protective masks.

A Kansas public school district is trying to figure out how to keep school board meetings accessible online without hindering public comments after YouTube concluded that a video of a recent meeting spread misinformation about COVID-19 and removed it.

The Shawnee Mission school board’s meeting Monday saw several parents and a Kansas lawmaker call for the district to remove its mask mandate, The Kansas City Star reported. Several residents of the district in Johnson County have spread misinformation about COVID-19 and mask-wearing at county, city, and school board meetings during the past year.

But district spokesman David Smith said it was the first time that the district learned a video was removed.

More than two dozen residents gathered before the meeting to protest the district’s mask mandate, which officials have said will stay in place. State Sen. Mike Thompson, a Shawnee Republican who’s argued for ending coronavirus pandemic restrictions, was in the crowd and spoke during public comments.

YouTube’s community guidelines list COVID-19 fallacies it will remove, including that the virus is not real or that children cannot get infected.

Smith said the district is still talking about how to manage the issue.

“We really don’t want to lose our ability to broadcast,” he said.

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