Video of a man stripping at a school board meeting is making headlines and is trending online. Though, the man didn’t just strip for no reason. He was doing so to prove a point.
James Akers is a father who has lived in Dripping Springs, Texas for 15-years. In a Dripping Springs ISD board meeting held on Monday, parents and administrators talked about mask requirements in schools. Akers not only joined the conversation but ended up stripping down to his underwear/swimtrunks.
“I do not like government, or any other entity — just ask my wife — telling me what to do,” he said at the start of his speech. “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.”
Akers then started removing pieces of his outfit while talking about different laws and social expectations society follows. The list included stopping at red lights, wearing professional clothes at work, not parking in handicapped parking spots, and so on. Akers then ended, while wearing a swimsuit, that mask-wearing should be another expectation followed for the good and safety of others.
“It’s simple protocol, people,” he said. “We follow certain rules. We follow certain rules for a very good reason.”
After receiving boos, laughter, and applause from the other meeting attendees, Board President Barbara Stroud requested that Akers put his clothes back on.
“Mr Akers I understand — I believe you’re a swimmer — but if you wouldn’t mind putting your pants back on for a comment, that would be appreciated,” Stroud said.
After the meeting, photos of the moment were shared on Facebook, according to Meaww. Responses to James Akers varied.
“Now I’ve seen it all! Good lord. What exactly is he trying to get across?” wrote one Facebook user.
“Yikes…he was ridiculous and there were kids at that (meeting),” wrote another. “I’d be embarrassed.”
“Nobody catchin’ covid from a guy in a swimsuit. But, someone without a mask…could happen,” a commenter countered.
In a conversation with NBC’s KXAN, James Akers clarified that masks are currently optional in the school district. Akers argues that while tensions are high, not many are thinking of the situation from a commonsense perspective.
“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.”