Texas Father Undresses Down to Swim Trunks to Argue His Pro-Mask Argument

·3 min read
Image via Getty/LIONEL BONAVENTURE
Image via Getty/LIONEL BONAVENTURE

A father used a very specific stunt to show why he is pro-mask—and why it makes sense to enforce masks in his local Dripping Springs, Texas school district.

During the Dripping Springs Independent School District meeting on Monday, James Akers—who’s been a resident of the city for 15 years—stripped down to his trunks during the 90 seconds he was allotted for comment, according to ABC News. One of Akers’ kids goes to the local high school, and three of his other children have gone through the school district.

“I’m here to say that I do not like government or any other entity—just ask my wife—telling me what to do,” he reportedly said. “But sometimes I’ve got to push the envelope a little bit. And I’ve just decided that I’m going to not just talk about it, but I’m going to walk the walk.”

He then started undressing, explaining how much he hated the suit, button-up, and tie he was expected to wear at his job. He also joked about how he ran three stop signs and four red lights while driving to the meeting, and then took up a handicap space in the parking lot. “I almost killed somebody out there, but by God, it’s my roads, too, so I have every right to drive as fast as I want to,” he said.

“We follow certain rules for a very good reason,” he said, as he stripped down to his trunks. “It’s simple protocol people.”

His stunt drew applause, laughter, and gasps from the crowd. When his time ran out, Board President Barbara Stroud asked him if he “wouldn’t mind putting your pants back on” as public commentary about the issue continued. Police officers had approached Akers towards the end of his speech and stood there as he dressed before walking away to cheers from the audience.

Gov. Greg Abbott recently issued an executive order prohibiting mask mandates in Texas. However, on Wednesday, a Dallas judge ordered a temporary injunction in opposition to Abbott’s ban. The Dripping Springs Independent School District isn’t enforcing masks, making them optional for staff and students, while other districts throughout the state have required masks in school.

Akers told KXAN on Tuesday that his speech offered “an easy message.”

“There are too many voices out there that I think are digging in for political reasons, and absolutely just not thinking about the common-sense decisions we make every day to comply with everything from driving down the road and being safe and courteous to other drivers, to not parking in handicapped spots,” he said. “All these rules that we’re given every day that we follow because they make sense, and we know ourselves that it makes sense for the community.”

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