Parents call on ECSD to reinstate mask mandate in schools

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) – Some parents are asking the Escambia County School District to reinstate a mask mandate as COVID-19 cases in schools remain high.

This comes after a 15-year-old girl at Booker T. Washington High School had COVID-19 and died just two weeks ago.

Now that a judge has blocked Governor Ron Desantis’ ban on mask mandates, some parents say it’s time to make mask wearing a requirement in schools.

A dozen parents and grandparents addressed the school board Thursday night. All of them were calling for a mask mandate.

“I am begging you as a grandparent to please have them wear masks,” one woman said.

“You mandate what clothes they wear,” Bryan Seifstein said. “One more piece of cloth over the face is not that big of a deal.”

There are currently more than 200 students in the Escambia County School District who have COVID-19. About 700 students are in quarantine and missing class.

“My youngest child’s class was just quarantined this week,” Whitney Parker said. “He’s now forced to miss a week of school yet no one’s forcing masks as a preventable measure.”

These parents asked similar questions but got no answers.

“Why aren’t we doing every single thing we can do to protect them when they’re in schools?” Samantha Herring asked.

They also asked the superintendent to add a mask mandate vote to the agenda for the regular meeting coming up Tuesday but as of now, it’s not on the agenda. Some are still expected to speak about it in the public forum.

There was a mask mandate in place last school year, but some of the parents at Thursday night’s meeting said schools need the mandate more now because of the Delta variant’s effect on children.

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