By: KDKA-TV News Staff

ROBINSON, Pa. (KDKA) – The first week of the statewide school mask mandate is coming to a close, but not without more protests.

READ MORE: COVID-19 Cases Sharply Rise In Allegheny County Kids Too Young To Be Vaccinated

Dozens of parents and students stood outside with signs at the Montour Schools complex.

“It’s hard to breathe, they have to wear the masks eight hours a day, and the truth of it is, most of the time, the teachers, the administrators, the students — they’re not really wearing the masks in compliance anyhow,” said parent Brian Morse.

READ MORE: Parents Planning To Take Legal Action Against Governor Tom Wolf Over School Mask Mandate

(Photo: KDKA Photojournalist Tim Lawson)

The parents say they want it to be up to them and the students whether kids wear masks. It’s a growing debate in districts across the commonwealth and has already resulted in legal action.

Twenty minutes south at Chartiers Valley, high schoolers mobilized after lunch to also protest the mandate.

Medical experts say masks help stem the spread of COVID-19, which the state says is infecting more and more children. When announcing the mandate, Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam said cases in kids rose nearly 300% in about six weeks.

MORE NEWS: Questions Surround Exemptions To Pennsylvania’s Mask Mandate In Schools

In Allegheny County, Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen says 67 COVID-19 cases were reported in children too young to be vaccinated in June. In August, that number jumped to 773.