Fourth-grader rips school mask mandate and school board later votes to stop enforcing masks

'All of this seems unfair, and it doesn’t make sense,' the 10-year-old said, adding 'Breathing freely doesn’t seem like something we should have to ask any other people permission for.'
Mon May 24, 2021 - 8:07 pm EST
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STUART, Florida, May 24, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A 10-year-old Florida boy declared hypocrisy earlier this month in an epic three-minute speech as he addressed a school board on mask mandates and those who enforce them.

Fourth-grader John Provenzano of Felix A. William Elementary School stated the case for ending mask mandates in the Martin County School District at an emergency meeting, telling the board that the current rule “seems unfair, and it doesn’t make sense.”

Provenzano admitted to being “surprised by the rules” to wear face masks for the entire school year, expecting circumstances “to be a little bit different in the beginning.” Explaining, Provenzano noted that “a lot” of the measures imposed “didn’t make any sense” to him. As an example, he described not being “allowed to play in the playground, or have student council, or turn to face each other at lunch. And we also have to wear masks outside at. P.E. (physical education) and on track.”

He also described how children were subjected to “referrals” if they were deemed not to be wearing their masks properly by a teacher who “walks around with a clipboard,” taking names.

“It makes me feel scared,” the boy shared. “That same teacher yells at us having our masks down to take a drink of water while we are outside in the car line. She told us we had to wait until we were in our parent’s car to have a drink of water.”

In a tone of disbelief, Provenzano noted the blatant hypocrisy of the teacher, who “had her mask down the entire time while she was yelling at us!” The situation, Provenzano said, “makes me and all my friends very mad.”

“It seems unfair that teachers take their masks off while they yell at us kids, and we need to pull ours up,” he explained. “This happens a lot … I asked my mom if there’s a word for this and she said there is — hypocrisy.”

“Breathing freely doesn’t seem like something we should have to ask any other people permission for,” the boy declared.

But besides complaints around the fairness of imposing the rule, Provenzano noted his own struggle with the physical reality of wearing a mask “all day.”

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Donning the face covering for such lengthy periods “makes me feel really tired and gives me really bad headaches,” he said.

“Sometimes I'm at school and I need to lay low in the dark until they’re gone,” the boy continued. “My mask also sticks to my face when it's hot, and it makes it hard to breathe. I feel like I can’t catch my breath and that makes me feel claustrophobic and anxious. It’s really stressful.”

Provenzano’s difficult experience with face masks has given him an appreciation for “why it’s hard” for his asthmatic teacher to wear a mask, noting that she will frequently be at her desk without one on.

“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,” he said. “All of this seems unfair, and it doesn’t make sense.”

Despite the disparity, Provenzano stated that his teacher “should have that choice” whether or not to wear a face covering, “but I should, too.”

“I miss seeing people’s faces. I miss the way things used to be. I’m scared they’ll never go back to normal,” Provenzano lamented.

Accordingly, the young boy pleaded with the school board to “make masks optional today. It would be so awesome to end the school year on a really happy note like that.”

The board took heed of Provenzano’s exhortation, voting 4-1 in favor of making face masks optional in schools from June 1 within the Martin County District.

School boards across the country have faced opposition from students and parents regarding mask impositions. Last month, an Arizona school board walked out on a scheduled meeting with parents to discuss the future of mask mandates in the district.

Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey overturned the statewide mask mandate for schools on April 19, announcing on Twitter, “Teachers, families and students have acted responsibly to mitigate the spread of the virus and protect one another, and our school leaders are ready to decide if masks should be required on their campuses.”

Before the parent/board meeting was to be held, around 100 parents from the district arrived outside the building to protest keeping children masked while in school. Some brought placards that read “unmask the kids.”

The protest prompted the board to leave, citing “safety concerns.” Without a board present, the parents decided to elect a new membership and immediately rescind the district’s mask mandate.

Mounting data show mask mandates for school children to have no credible scientific basis. A major, randomized study published in November by the esteemed Annals of Internal Medicine found no statistically significant difference in COVID-19 cases between mask-wearers and non-mask-wearers.

Another study, aimed more specifically toward children, discovered that masks were causing children health problems on physical, psychological, and behavioral fronts. The researchers found that, among the almost 26,000 children included in the study, 60 percent reported feeling irritable, 53 percent had headaches, 50 percent were less happy, and 37 percent suffered fatigue and other ailments, including shortness of breath and dizziness.

  covid-19, florida, school board, school mask mandate

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