A Minnesota surgeon was fired after he told a local school board only parents should make decisions on whether or not their kids wear masks


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Elementary kids wearing masks. MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

  • A Minnesota surgeon told a school board parents should decide whether or not their kids wear masks.

  • “It’s still their responsibility. It’s not yours,” Dr. Jeffrey Horak said, opposing a mask mandate.

  • Horak said he was fired from his job nine days later without an explanation.

A Minnesota surgeon was fired after he spoke at a school board meeting and said parents should be the ones to decide whether or not their kids wear masks, KOMO News reported.

At an October 11 meeting in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, Dr. Jeffrey Horak spoke out against the district’s mask mandate.

“Who does God put in charge of these kids? Their parents,” Horak said at the meeting, KOMO News reported. “God gave each one of these kids to their parents and they speak for them. They may be wrong, they may be dumb, they may be perfect in their decisions. But it’s still their responsibility. It’s not yours, God gave it to them, honor their wishes – either side of the fence.”

In a statement on his Facebook page, Horak said nine days after he made those comments his employer, Lake Region Healthcare, told him his views were “no longer congruent” with theirs and asked him to either resign or be fired.

“I wasn’t given a reason nor was I aware of any issues or complaints about me,” Horak said in his statement.

He added: “We live in America where freedoms are held close. I am a man who believes individuals have the right to do their research and decide what is best for them and their children when it comes to their health. I don’t believe governments or institutions should dictate that. It’s a position I’ve always have taken. And when the science doesn’t make sense it’s hard for me to go along.”

Lake Region Healthcare did not respond to Insider’s request for comment at the time of publication but in a statement to KVRR said it was not them who fired Horak.

“Lake Region Healthcare (LRH) is not Dr. Horak’s employer. Dr. Horak is part of Lake Region Medical Group (LRMG), the partnership of providers that LRH contracts with. Dr. Horak was placed by LRMG for services at LRH under our Professional Services Agreement. To be clear, in this case the LRMG Board made the decision about discontinuing Dr. Horak’s practice, not LRH. The reasons for any separation are among Dr. Horak and LRMG,” the hospital said.

Horak did not respond to Insider’s request for comment at the time of publication.

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