A “Shoes for Freedom” demonstration was held on September 26 at the front entrance of Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 Schools administrative office. | Photo via McHenry County Blog

A demonstration held at Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47’s administrative office against vaccine and testing mandates in schools has gone viral on social media.

The demonstration took place last Sunday and involved dozens of pairs of shoes left at the front entrance to the building.

Most of the shoes left had notes underneath them explaining why they were against the mandates.

Participants of the event included teachers, staff, parents and community members from the Crystal Lake area.

Organizers of the demonstration said in a letter that the demonstration shows “of our community standing for freedom” against Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s mandates “that are crippling our education system.”

In late August, Pritzker announced vaccine mandates for preschool through 12th-grade teachers and staff, higher education personnel, higher education students, and healthcare workers in a variety of settings like hospitals, nursing homes, urgent care and doctor’s offices.

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A “Shoes for Freedom” demonstration was held on September 26 at the front entrance of Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 Schools administrative office. | Photo via McHenry County Blog

Those who refused to get vaccinated by the September 19 deadline have been subject to COVID-19 testing.

“The community members who participated in the shoe demonstration are defending our education system and the people who are part of it by standing together against these mandates and the forced compliance being imposed upon them,” the organizers said in the letter.

Participants of the demonstration also left flyers and posters on the door of District 47’s administration office.

“Stop forcing teachers to choose between their jobs and unlawful mandate! Freedom not force,” one poster read.

“What is right for you, may not be right for me. What is right for me, may not be right for you. But what is not right for either of us is being stripped of the freedom to choose what is right for ourselves,” a second poster read.

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A photo of the demonstration published on Facebook and Instagram received thousands of reactions and shares.

According to District 47’s COVID-19 dashboard, current vaccination rates for staff at the district’s 13 schools range from 78% to 95%.