Parents fight mask policy in Seminole County Public Schools

A few dozen parents were fired up at Tuesday night’s school board meeting in Seminole County, urging the board to eliminate the district’s mask mandate.

“Where are we going as a country? This is scary. This is scary,” one parent told the board.

“The reason that we’re so fueled with emotion right now is that we’re so fed up,” said another.

They say they’re not anti-mask, but rather for mask-choice. They say the district’s current policy ignores parents’ rights to make medical decisions for their children.

Several parents told the board they took their kids out of Seminole County Public Schools and are either homeschooling or enrolling them in private schools “where masks are optional, children with special needs are treated with dignity and parental rights are respected.”

“Students are wearing these masks eight hours a day. They’re coughing in them, sneezing in them. They fall on the floor. They go back on their face. It’s a petri dish.”

Parents in Volusia County were fired up about the same thing. Cellphone video from a recent school board meeting there shows them being pulled out for refusing to wear masks inside.

In Seminole County on Tuesday, the group of parents certainly united against the board, but there were no major disruptions at the meeting other than clapping.

The district sent FOX 35 the following statement:

"Our School Board has already voted previously to extend our Mask/Facial Covering Policy. This will remain in place this school year as the COVID-19 Pandemic continues. However, the Superintendent and School Board always have the ability to revoke the policy if necessary. This obviously would be predicated on what the COVID-19 pandemic situation is. While COVID-19 #'s remain high and the virus remains a serious threat to our community and campuses, the mask/facial covering policy will remain in place. This is for the safety of all our students and staff attending face-to-face learning."

There are obviously some exemptions when masks/face coverings aren’t worn, such as:  PE, recess, lunch and when social distancing can be implemented. In addition, those that are granted a medical exemption waiver.