Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is facing backlash over the weekend after she visited an elementary school and posed maskless with a room full of young children who were all masked because of a school mandate.

Abrams visited Glennwood Elementary School outside of Atlanta this past week to kick off the third annual African American read-in, where she met with young students and teachers. The principal, Dr. Holly Brookins, took to Twitter after the visit to post four pictures on her Twitter account of Abrams' visit, which included three pictures of Abrams without a mask, despite the Decatur City Commission reinstating a mandatory masking ordinance last month. 

The picture that went viral was Abrams sitting on the floor with her legs crossed and smiling without a mask on while the dozens of children and adults behind her were all wearing masks. Abrams quote tweeted the picture and told Brookins that her visit was "spectacular, delightful, and outstanding." 


Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams speaks onstage during the 2021 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award Gala on Dec. 9, 2021, in New York City. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

As of Sunday morning, Brookins' Twitter account appears to be deactivated and Abrams' quote tweet is no longer on her Twitter account, but that hasn't slowed down the backlash as the picture spreads across social media.

"Confirmation, if any were needed, that Stacey Abrams is a member of the Democratic elite in good standing—mask hypocrisy is practically a status symbol now," National Review editor Rich Lowry tweeted.

"Stacey Abrams wants state government mask mandates for Georgians and their children," Georgia's Republican Governor Brian Kemp tweeted. "But it looks like they wouldn’t apply when she’s attending a photo op."

"The number of left wing politicians who post photos posing without masks while all the kids around them are wearing masks is stunning," Outkick founder Clay Travis tweeted. "Here is Stacey Abrams doing it. This is child abuse."

Politico White House reporter Alex Thompson tweeted Sunday that he predicts the Abrams photo will be in many Republican ads this year ahead of the midterms. 

Liesl Hickey, the co-founder of N2 America, a 501(c)(4) organization committed to "promoting and supporting center-right policies," slammed the Abrams picture in a tweet, saying the Democratic Party is "anti-children/anti-parents" and said "it is becoming more clear every single day." This past week N2 America released an ad showing masked children watching Democratic politicians and Hollywood hugging and kissing while not wearing masks.

"They see the excitement. They see the joy. They see what they are missing. Democrats are putting kids last. Teachers' unions are putting kids last. Tell them to give kids their childhood back," the captions in the ad read.

Stacey Abrams Campaigns With Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Terry McAuliffe In Norfolk, Virginia

Voting rights activist Stacey Abrams speaks during a Souls to the Polls rally supporting former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Oct. 17, 2021, in Norfolk, Virginia. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

The Abrams campaign pushed back against critics of Abrams' maskless photo in a statement to Fox News, saying, "It is shameful that our opponents are using a Black History Month reading event for Georgia children as the impetus for a false political attack, and it is pitiful and predictable that our opponents continue to look for opportunities to distract from their failed records when it comes to protecting public health during the pandemic."

Fox News pressed Abrams on if she has any regret over not wearing a mask, but responded: "We will let our statement speak for itself."


"One of Stacey's opponents downplayed the virus while trading stock to profit off the pandemic after his private coronavirus briefings as a Senator," an Abrams spokesperson said. "Another of her opponents attacked mayors seeking to protect their citizens and has failed to expand access to Medicaid even as rural hospitals close. This pathetic, transparent and silly attack is beneath anyone who claims he wants to lead Georgia."

"Stacey trusts science and supports masking in schools as it's the current CDC recommendation," Lauren Groh-Wargo, a spokeswoman for Abrams, tweeted. "She wore a mask to the event, and removed it at the podium so she could be heard by students watching remotely and for photos, but only with folks who were masked." 

Editor's note: This piece has been updated with two quotes from the Abrams campaign. 

Fox News' Claudia KellyBazan and Tyler O'Neil contributed to this report.