August 18, 2021 Updated 10:43 P.M. ET
NAPLES, FL – Tuesday night, the Lee County School Board voted 5-1 against a measure to require students to wear masks in school.
Parents expressed outrage and fear that their children might be forced to wear face coverings every day at school.
Currently, parents may opt their children out of wearing a mask with an opt-out form.
At the board meeting, Lee County board member Betsy Vaughn, who opposes Governor Ron DeSantis (R), compared anti-mask mandate parents and demonstrators who attended the meeting with “Capitol rioters,” referring to January 6th.
Her remarks were met with groans from the audience.
There was no violence at the Lee County school board meeting.
In Florida, it is illegal for school districts to require students to wear masks. DeSantis signed an executive order late last month giving parents the right to decide whether or not their child wears a mask in school.
Critics of requiring masks explain that children are the lowest risk group of severe illness from COVID-19, and that with increasing vaccination rates and going on nearly 2 years of the pandemic restrictions, officials need to stop restricting the lives of the public.
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