Associated Press: Kids in Mask
School systems and states continue to battle against COVID-19 regulations to the detriment of the students and parents. But Florida students have won a massive victory as one school system has finally dropped its mask mandate thanks to one 8-year-old girl.
Second-grader Fiona Lashells was suspended 38 times for not complying with the mask regulations at her school. The mask mandate violated Florida Governor Ron DeSantis's executive order, which allowed parents, not school administration, to decide if their children wore masks in school.
"A ruling yesterday by Division of Administrative Hearings Judge Newman found the Department of Health's Emergency Rule 64DER21-15 to be valid; therefore, a parent face-covering opt-out will be reinstated effective Monday." Palm Beach County School District
After DeSantis released his executive order allowing parents to make mask decisions for their children, Fiona Lashells's mother promised her she would not have to wear a mask ever again. "We promised her she wouldn't have to wear a mask. I think that's what upset her so much. We had made that promise to her at the beginning of the year."
As school started, The Palm Beach School District added the new mask requirements contradicting the executive order, forcing Fiona's mother to make a choice, take away her promise to her little girl, or fight the mask requirement.
To get Fiona to comply with the mask requirements, the school made her eat and work alone with no students and little teacher support. Then the suspensions started. Even when forced to work alone or stay at home, she continued to be a good student getting her school work done without the aid of her teachers.
When Fiona was finally allowed to return to school, she faced a crowd of supporters. Friends and community members stood outside the school building with signs, showing her that she was never alone even though she couldn't see her supporters in out-of-school suspension.
Rine Jolly is a political writer from rocket city. She is an avid supporter of the military, and a mother. Rine studied English and journalism in North Carolina and is passionate about political topics today.