On June 8th, citizens rallied outside the Pinellas County School Board meeting to end the mask mandate for students in the district. Inside, parents and students shared their concerns with the Board.
“So I do realize that you are going to vote to repeal the mask mandate today, I think the reason most of are here is we don’t trust moving forward that that’s what you are going to keep. And we also don’t trust that there won’t be some type of combination where if you get the vaccine you don’t have to wear a mask but if you don’t get the vaccine you’re going to be segregated and you’ll have to wear the mask,” said parent Shauna Nelson. (at 42:30)
“I’d like to get to the point where I feel like you can earn our trust back, but I think we are a long way from that.”
Nelson closed her comments with a quote from Pink Floyd with a modern twist that fits the mood of parents across the nation perfectly, “We don’t need YOUR education. We don’t need YOUR thought control. No dark sarcasm in OUR classroom. School Board teachers, leave OUR kids alone. All in all, they are just another brick in YOUR wall. If you don’t wear your mask, you can’t play with your friends. How can you play with your friends if you don’t wear your mask? Please earn our trust back.”
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Young students from the school district provided the most powerful commentary of the meeting. “I’m surprised masks aren’t gone in the trash yet. You know I am tired of what you are doing to my friends and other kids. When I am going to school I always see kids on their phones not playing with the other kids. And they’re always six feet in masks and it’s your fault. You’re causing fear. Please listen to me, okay? For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Stop listening to the devil listen to God, our Holy Father. Be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Unmask my friends. People are protesting for us. Thank you for fighting for freedom,” said student Gracie. (at 46:30)
Her classmate Carly shared, “When I go to school I am forced to wear masks. It’s harder to focus and it also gives me a headache. I also have to stay six feet away from my friends. This year I changed schools. When I was forced to wear a mask and distance, it was very hard to make new friends. God did not create us to be guided by fear. It’s time people start using their intuition and stop being guided by fear. When you are in fear, there is more chance you will get sick than when (sic) you use your intuition. Immune systems on, masks off.” (at 47:55)
What a joy to see these young Americans stand for freedom.
The mask policy ended at 5 pm the day following the meeting.