Santa Rosa schools keep mask mandate for now despite parental pushback

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SANTA ROSA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — The Santa Rosa County School District will keep its mask mandate for now after a strong push from parents to end it.

The Santa Rosa County School Board held a workshop before its regular meeting Tuesday to discuss updating its COVID-19 pandemic protocols.

Dozens of parents showed up during the board’s meeting to express their feelings about 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?”

The outrage comes after the state education leaders came out this past week and said masks should not be required but recommended in the fall semester. Most parents who showed up to the meeting Tuesday wanted the mask mandate ended immediately.

The school board eventually proposed a rule change to require masks until at least June 15 when summer school begins.

Superintendent Karen Barber said the school district wants best for its students.

“It really appears that you’ve lost confidence with the school district and that’s heartbreaking. It truly is,” Barber said. “We do these jobs because we love your kids and want what’s in their best interest.”

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