Masks no longer required for Santa Rosa County students

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SANTA ROSA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — After facing weeks of criticism from parents, the Santa Rosa County School Board voted unanimously to rescind the county’s mask mandate in schools.

The vote to make wearing masks voluntary for students and staff happened at a special meeting on Monday. The meeting comes just two weeks after the board decided to keep the mask mandate for the remainder of the school year.

At that meeting, parents expressed their concerns over masking their children.

“I’m not going to be as politically correct as the rest of these folks. I’m going to call a spade a spade. Y’all are communist,” said one parent, who eventually was removed from the meeting for cursing. “(Masks) cause health problems and y’all don’t give a (expletive).”

Several more parents shared the same sentiment.

“It’s always waiting,” said one mother. “It’s always going to be next year. We’re going to slow the curve. What are you guys going to come up with over the summer, we have to wear bubble wrap to school?”

With heavy parental pushback and health officials rescinding some COVID-19 mask recommendations, the board decided Monday to make masking in schools voluntary while still recommending their use.

Parents applauded as the vote became official.

The board recognized those parents who wished to continue masking their children and said they hoped the personal choice to mask or not was respected.

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