'Unacceptable Behavior' Shuts Kids Museum for 10 Days

Anti-mask patrons were 'inappropriately directing their anger' toward museum staff
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2022 8:44 AM CST
Anti-Maskers Cause 10-Day Shutdown at Kids Museum
A sign announcing the closure of the Children's Museum of Denver hangs on a museum door on Thursday in Denver.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(Newser) – If you're a Denverite who'd planned on taking the kids to the local children's museum over the weekend, you'll have to wait. NPR reports the Children's Museum of Denver has closed its doors for 10 days after angry patrons harassed staff over its mask policy. A reopening is planned for Feb. 5. In a statement on its website, the museum notes that offering a "safe and welcoming environment" in its facility has become "increasingly challenging" in COVID times, and that recent "unacceptable behavior" has forced its hand regarding the temporary closure.

"We know the stress of the last two years has taken a toll on everyone in our community, but regrettably, some guests who object to the Museum's mask policy have been inappropriately directing their anger toward our staff," the museum notes. That policy mandates that all museum visitors 2 and older have to wear a face covering, no matter their vaccination status, in accordance with local health regulations. The museum also said earlier this month it wouldn't be accepting medical exemptions due to the growing number of local COVID cases.

In its statement, the museum says it decided on the short-term closure to "support our staff and bolster our policies with the hope of preventing this type of behavior in the future." President and CEO Michael Yankovich isn't saying exactly what transpired to cause such a drastic measure, simply noting in a statement to the Washington Post that the "demoralizing" incidents had increased in frequency and intensity of late. In an additional statement this week, he said the museum has been flooded with an "outpouring of support" since the incidents were publicized, per CBS Denver. Yankovich noted that updates to the museum's policies will be posted on its website before the museum opens its doors again. (Read more face masks stories.)

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