ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Nearly 1,000 Pinellas County parents have signed a Change.org petition asking for the Pinellas County School Board to enact a school mask requirement, defying a previous order made by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
On Aug. 1, the school board told parents via email that it would not require masks in schools, the day after DeSantis announced the state could withhold funds from schools that violated rules from the Florida Departments of Health and Education that follow the Parents’ Bill of Rights.
“They’re playing politics with the health of our kids,” said Brad Rosenheim, the author of the petition. “My kids wear their masks to keep them and the people around them safe. It’s common sense: just like we don’t let people smoke cigarettes at school because it can harm others, we should be masking up during a global pandemic to reduce the risk of infecting others.”
While the order is not an explicit ban, it does give parents the option to not comply with mask requirements for their children.
Thus, the petitioners are asking for Superintendent Michael Grego and the board to set up an emergency meeting to “reconsider” their decision to keep masks optional.
Recently, two school boards, the Duvall County School Board and Alachua County Public Schools, voted to require masks for their students in open defiance of the governor’s wishes.
As of this report, the petition has 987 signatures with a goal of 1,500.