Some parents want to ‘Unmask Our Children’ as mask mandate expires in Collier County

Published: April 13, 2021 7:54 PM EDT
Updated: April 14, 2021 7:43 AM EDT

The mask mandate in Collier County is set to expire soon and many are taking part in “unmask our children” protests in hopes that the county doesn’t extend it.

Some parents in Collier County are ready for their children to move on from this pandemic. These same parents said last month it was time to let their children breathe.

The 60 to 70 parents who protested on Tuesday afternoon are not happy that the school board will not budge on this issue. Some students even came out.

McKinzie Morgan is a sophomore in Collier County Public Schools. “Masks are ruining the world,” Morgan said.

Pauline Sills is one of the concerned parents. “We’ve never been through this so we don’t know how to deal with this with our children,” Sills said.

Leaders say the mask mandate is in place to protect students, teachers and staff members. When the discussion got a bit rowdy, school board members said that if the disruptions didn’t stop they’d kick everyone out.

Leanne Meeks is a mom of five kids. “We have kids all over passing out while participating in physical education,” she said.

These families asked the Collier County School Board to do away with its mask mandate for the of this school year.

The Patriot Talk Show, which features Seed To Table owner Alfie Oakes and the hosts were present outside of the school board meeting.

Signs that appeared and the voices left nothing to the imagination.

Meeks says she wants kids to have maskless options at school. “Can I ask you, do you feel like people die from COVID[-19]?” she said. “Um, so I would say if they have underlying conditions like the lungs, I’d say it’s possible, I would say that it is likely. But I don’t believe kids are dying from COVID on a day-to-day basis.”

Pauline Sills saw her daughter deal with anxiety since going back to school.

“Every morning I wake up, I get so annoyed I don’t want to put it on,” Morgan said. She says the mask is the reason for her frustration.

One mom, who was lucky enough to survive and recover from COVID-19 says that we should wear masks until we know better.

Olivia Angeles is a mom and lives in Golden Gate. “We should wear masks just because you know, you could still catch it. I feel like a lot of people don’t realize that. So that you don’t end up in the hospital, or you don’t end up with the double pneumonia-like I did,” Angeles said.

This mask mandate discussion is similar to every other one we’ve seen over the past year: emotional on all sides.

We expect Lee County’s mask mandate to be a part of tonight’s public comment during that district’s school board meeting.