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Those against a school mask mandate protest in Lee County

Masks have caused divisive debates, and it’s spilling into the classroom now. Some parents say they want the choice whether their child wears a mask or not at school and believe The School District of Lee County does not have the power to mandate them.

Moms, dads, students and teachers stood together during a public demonstration Wednesday to show they do not support a mask mandate at schools in Lee County.

One of those gathered at the protest told us they don’t support mask mandates or temperature checks at schools altogether.

As part of the District’s current school reopening guidelines, students would not be required to wear masks while eating breakfast or lunch at school. Otherwise, students and staff need a mask on buses and anywhere on school grounds, including the classroom and outside.

One of the protesters believes there should be more options for those choosing to send their children to in-person classes, since there are a number of options for those who will elect an alternative.

In response to the day’s event, the District said, “Masks are mandated at school based on the guidance of local health experts to protect students and staff.”

One of the protesters we spoke to still believes it should be up to choice.

The District also shared a statement by Physicians’ Primary Care of Southwest Florida and Island Coast Pediatrics, saying in part, “The best way to hold back the tide of infection is for everyone including school-aged children to embrace the use of masks in schools.

But a mom we spoke to told us each child and their family should decide whether they wear a mask and still get to have face-to-face school as an option.

“When the epidemic came out, we consulted with our doctor, two different doctors, two different times,” Daniella Dye said. “I think that’s a responsible decision. I don’t think it’s responsible to put a mandate on everybody, especially our children.”

Dye told us, if the mask mandate is not reversed or changed, she plans to homeschool her three children.

At the same time, the statement by local doctors said, “Masks save lives. They may be the lives of your children. ”

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Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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