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SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ — Bedminster local and anti-mask advocate Caitlin Cunningham is working on offering parents an alternative to schooling after Gov. Phil Murphy said New Jersey students in grades K-12 will be required to wear face masks starting in September.

The announcement on Friday came after an increase in positive coronavirus cases driven by the highly contagious delta variant, which now accounts for more than 93 percent of all new cases in the United States, according to data released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cunningham, who is the founder of the Child Advocate Coalition LLC, does not believe masks help and instead said she believes it is “conditioning children to be put under control.”

“We are not dealing with this. We are standing up for what is right,” said Cunningham.

As part of her effort, Cunningham created and distributed 1,000 signs with the slogan “Unmask Our Kids” across the state. She said she had previously been approached by moms concerned with the upcoming school year who say their “kids’ can not breathe with a mask
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Cunningham and her group were also protesting during Murphy’s school mask announcement outside Memorial Elementary School in East Brunswick on Friday.

On Monday, Murphy had issued a strong message to anyone who continues to downplay the spread of the coronavirus among children. Read More: NJ Governor Lashes Out Again, This Time At Mask Mandate Critics

“When they say ‘only,’ they are saying that they are perfectly willing to accept children landing in the ICU or dying from COVID,” Murphy said during a news conference on Monday. “They won’t say it out loud, but it’s exactly what they are saying, and I cannot be kind about that. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that we will reject that in its entirety. We are not going to sacrifice the health of any child, any educator, any family or any community.”

A former nanny, Cunningham, said she has now decided to offer parents another option to learning with pods.

Cunningham calls it a “grassroots effort” and is in the process of working with teachers who left the school system to help teach.

Pods will be set up and offered for students in all 21 New Jersey counties at an undetermined cost. In Somerset County, Cunningham is planning to offer a local pod in an art studio that she is opening in Bridgewater.

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