Manatee School Board members vote unanimously to keep mask mandate in place

Manatee County

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Allison Hansen wishes Manatee County School Board members would allow her to do what’s best for her children. Instead, she feels they believe they can parent better than she can.

Hansen spoke to board members on Tuesday night regarding the district’s mask policy and its recent parent and employee survey on the matter.

“A person could have taken the survey on multiple devices in different locations using different WiFi’s all showing different IDs,” Hansen told the board.

She believes, in many cases, the masks do more harm than good.

“Masks are a health decision, because they’re having negative health effects on our kids. Physically, psychologically, emotionally, and also socially and academically,” she said.

The issue came up for discussion because the district’s current mandate is in place as a direct result of COVID-19. District leaders wanted to modify the wording so it could be put in place for future health emergencies that might neccessitate the use of masks.

Dr. Scott Hopes is an epidemiolgist and a school board member.

“Next year we could have COVID-21, in 2003 and 2004 we had the first SARS virus,” said Dr. Hopes. “So this just incorporates it into our communicable disease policies.”

Hansen was one of two parents who addressed the board on the issue. She says the mask mandate might force her to take her four kids out of public school and educate them elsewhere.

“I’m disappointed that the board has decided that they have the right to make these health decisions for our kids,” said Hansen. “That they are wiser than parents when making health decisions for the children.”

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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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