4th Grader Grills School Board for Mask Mandate, Highlights Hypocrisy of Faculty

Posted: May 18, 2021 6:15 PM
4th Grader Grills School Board for Mask Mandate, Highlights Hypocrisy of Faculty

Source: AP Photo/David Mercer, File

A 4th grader in Florida offered his concerns at a school board meeting about the mask requirement in the district, pointing out that the enforcement of the mandate is unfair and requested that it be lifted. 

The Martin County School District heard the compelling testimony of a 10-year-old boy during a May 12 board meeting. The boy told board members the grievances he had with the school district's policy aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. 

While he did acknowledge that he had expectations of a drastically different school year, he was disappointed in the length of time at which COVID-19 protocols remained, specifically the mask mandate, which he says has made it difficult to breathe, thus, reducing his ability to concentrate. 

The boy added that educators had been unfair when it comes to wearing a face covering. 

He said that there is a teacher at his school who walks around with referrals to issue to any student not wearing their mask correctly. That same teacher, the boy said, yells at students, telling them to pull up their masks while they are drinking water outside. 

She told us we had to wait until we were in our parents car to have a drink of water. She had her mask down the entire time while she was yelling at us, which makes me and all my friends very mad.

The boy said faculty members, including his teacher, repeatedly remove their masks but do not grant students the same opportunity. 

He said he is sympathetic to his teacher constantly sitting at her desk without a mask, because he knows she has asthma and likely has trouble breathing with a face covering, adding that she should have the option of removing her mask. 

However, he said he and all of his classmates should have the option as well. 

I have allergies and I feel really anxious with my face covering but I'm not allowed a mask break like her, it seems unfair. All of this seems unfair and it doesn't make sense.

He said that other rules pertaining to mitigating the coronavirus lacked reason, saying that students are not permitted to play on the playground and were denied involvement in student council. Students are also not allowed to face each other during lunch and are required to wear face coverings during P.E. and track. 

The student said he was fearful that life would not be returning to the way it was pre-pandemic, highlighting that breathing freely should not be a privilege that warrants asking for permission.