As COVID-19 seems to spread across the nation, many schools have reimplemented mask mandates, while such mandates are still illegal in Florida. I interviewed five Tampa parents to get their thoughts on this important health issue.
The Issue: Mask Mandates in Schools Nationwide
Schools across the country are starting to force students and staff to wear masks as a COVID-19 precaution this winter. However, in Florida, it is illegal for schools to impose such mandates.
In July 2021, our governor signed an executive order that prevented schools from forcing students to wear masks. He stated, "It's our belief that this [masking] should be a parent's choice."
Five Tampa Parents Speak Up
I interviewed five Tampa parents to see what they thought of our governor and Florida's response to this critical and ongoing issue compared to the rest of the country. Here's what they said:
Ann, a mother of three, stated, "Thank god for our governor. When schools and the government and workplaces control our health choices, we have a problem."
Karl, a father of one, stated, "Don't get me started on DeSantis. Masks are proven to slow the spread of viruses like COVID and they should be required in all schools. Social distancing, too. I'm not surprised other states are reinstating mandates."
Jose, a father of three, stated, "It should be the school's decision. We still wear masks out to the store, hockey games, and family gatherings. Nobody in my family has caught COVID yet, so we're doing something right."
Mackenzie, a mother of two, stated, "Schools are a damn cesspool of germs, but I stand with DeSantis. These flimsy paper masks aren't going to stop anyone from catching it, and it's not as bad as it seems. Everyone's had COVID at this point. It's a mild virus and people need to stop panicking about it."
Lina, a mother of four, stated, "I have all four of my kids vaccinated except for the littlest one, so it doesn't matter to me. Masks don't stop you from catching the virus, they only stop you from transmitting if you're sick. They should still be a choice, them and vaccines."
What do you think? Do you think that Governor DeSantis was correct in making masking the parent's choice, or should the school have the authority to mandate masks? Let me know in the comments below.
*Note: Names have been changed to protect the anonymity of Florida residents.
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