HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Dozens rallied outside the governor’s mansion Thursday night to protest the mask mandate for their kids. 

Parents held signs that said “child abuse.” Young kids lifted handmade signs of their own with the phrase “unmask me now!”

Parent Emily Bailey told News 8, “The masks have proven that they don’t even work.”

“I think it’s [the pandemic is] done; they don’t have to be wearing them anymore,” parent Lauren Vernaglia said.

One girl shared her feelings about wearing them in school.

Dahlia, a student said, “I can only take it down at lunch and snack but I keep having to get reminders to pull my mask up.”

Parents say their kids have a tough time breathing in the masks in classrooms, some of which they say have no air conditioning. 

RELATED: Montville schools among many dismissing students early due to heatwave, COVID air safety concerns

Parents say it’s gotten to the point where mask-wearing has become engrained in their minds. 

Bailey added, “My son – even just a couple of weeks ago – he’s so trained with it on, he’s at home at 8 o’clock at night going to pull down a mask to drink and he’s like ‘I’m home mom why am I doing this?’”

Right now, under Governor Ned Lamont’s order, COVID-19 facemasks are required in K-12 schools and childcare facilities. 

Many of the parents in Hartford Thursday said they want to be able to have the choice to unmask their kids instead of being mandated by the state.

“Give us parents the right to make our decisions and sent her child with a mask on or mask off.”

“People are out or out, they’re breathing, they’re living, people are going to school they’re going to work enough of the nonsense.”

The ‘Unmask our Kids CT’ group formed on Facebook has almost 7,000 members.

We reached out to Governor Lamont‘s office for comment and we’ve yet to hear back.