The photos were originally tweeted Friday by the school’s principal, Holly Brookins, who wrote, “Extraordinary way to kick off the 3rd Annual African-American Read-In at Glennwood and Black History Month. Thrilled to host @staceyabrams author of Stacey’s Extraordinary Words!”
The photos of the event at Glennwood Elementary School in Decatur, Georgia, prompted intense backlash from many who voiced frustration at masking policies — at a time when Covid-19 policies in schools have emerged as an intensely fraught issue in today’s politics. The city extended its indoor masking requirement on January 18 through February 22, and the City Schools of Decatur enforce similar masking rules.
Glennwood officials did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
On Sunday, the Abrams campaign responded to the growing outrage, taking aim at her political opponents who have chastised her in response to the photos but failing to provide an explanation behind the widely circulated photos.
“It is shameful that our opponents are using a Black History Month reading event for Georgia children as the impetus for a false political attack, and it is pitiful and predictable that our opponents continue to look for opportunities to distract from their failed records when it comes to protecting public health during the pandemic,” the campaign’s statement said.
It continued: “One of Stacey’s opponents downplayed the virus while trading stock to profit off the pandemic after his private coronavirus briefings as a Senator. Another of her opponents attacked mayors seeking to protect their citizens and has failed to expand access to Medicaid even as rural hospitals close. This pathetic, transparent and silly attack is beneath anyone who claims he wants to lead Georgia.”
GOP pundit Meghan McCain tweeted the photo and wrote, “UNMASK OUR KIDS!!!!!”