“Free their smiles!”

“We all need smiles!”

“Let them breathe!”

“See my smile!”

“Unmask our kids!”

“Student lives matter.”

“I do not co-parent with the government.”

Those are but a few of the slogans plastered on signs where parents and their children have fought any efforts to impose mask mandates in public schools.

Well, OK then. There you have it. The parents want it understood that they have rights as parents to decide matters for their kids as they see fit. No government is going to tell them what to do when it comes to their kids’ health and well-being.

Best we can recall, however, children can be required to show proof of certain vaccinations in order to attend public schools.

And where were these parents when the government told them they have to use proper child restraints — car seats, booster seats, seat belts — for their children? Isn’t that more government interference with parenting rights?

It might seem harsh, but we’d like to ask parents who are so opposed to having their children wear masks for their children’s health and safety and the health and safety of fellow classmates, teachers, family and friends one question: Will they ask the funeral home to be sure to have their child wearing a smile when they are embalmed and their bodies are on display at the viewing and visitation?

Exaggeration?

Punctuate that with this information: There have already been pediatric deaths in South Carolina attributed to the virus.

Kids can get COVID-19. Kids are getting it and the delta variant. Kids are dying. When they do, they’re not smiling. Nor are their parents.