Escambia School Board Rejects Mask Mandate

September 18, 2021

The Escambia County School Board on Friday rejected the idea of future discussion of a mask mandate for the county’s schools.

At a workshop meeting, several members of the public discussed the desire for mandatory masking, prompting the board discussion.

“I have had several conversations with Dr. Smith over the summer, so he can verify that I have not been happy,” board member Patty Hightower said. “I told him I was ready to go after the governor.”

Hightower said she was in favor of a discussing masks at a future school board meeting, but she wanted to make sure the public had proper notice that it would be on an agenda to give people on all sides of the issue a chance to weigh in. She asked the board if there was any support for a special meeting.

“As a parent, as a human being, I tend to agree with your side of the story,” board member Laura Edler told those speaking that supported masks at Friday’s meeting. “But if the other side comes also, I will do that same assessment. I believe as a board member, I’m in a Catch-22. If I favor with you all, I’m wrong. If I favor with the other group who doesn’t want masks, I’m wrong.”

“But I can tell you, your message was not overlooked,” added Edler. “I can’t tell you about the rest of the board members, but you got to my heart.”

“I’m also not in support of a mandatory mask mandate of any kind, I’ll put that out there right now. I don’t see why we need to meet on it,” board member Kevin Adams said. “My vote would be against any kind of mandatory mask mandate.”

“Somewhere along the line, we’ve got to get back to our business educating our children,” Adams said.

“My personal preference is to tell people wear a mask, but I cannot, and I will not, mandate that somebody does something,” board member Paul Fetsko said. “I will wear a mask, but I am not going to vote to make somebody wear a mask.

“I believe that parents that believe children should be wearing masks can convince them to wear masks, and they should, “said board member Bill Slayton. “If you believe your child should wear a mask, tell them to wear the mask. Don’t come tell us (the school board) to tell them. I fell like you are copping out to make us force a mask mandate. I’m sorry, I cannot support that.”

The board never took a formal vote, with Slayton saying it was obvious the board was not in favor of mandating masks, asking Smith for any comments.

“No, it’s up to you. That you for the discussion” Smith told the board. “That gives me clarity.”

As of Friday night, the Escambia district reported 216 students and 41 staff positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days, and an additional 691 students in quarantine.

Pictured: Escambia County School Board members Bill Slayton (top), Laura Edler (middle inset) an Paul Fetsko (below) during a board workshop on Friday. Images for, click to enlarge.


66 Responses to “Escambia School Board Rejects Mask Mandate”

  1. Warren on September 21st, 2021 5:56 pm

    Ignorance itself is like a disease. Social media, disturbing opinion leaders and some renegade media have spread ignorance about masks and vaccinations faster and more effectively than even covid has spread. To all who comment here with facts and common sense…I’m sorry it’s useless. Many, maybe most here literally bathe themselves in their ignorance. They don’t even understand the most basic concepts such as why health care even before this pandemic has had mark requirements and hand washing protocols, and vaccination requirements…millions and millions of dollars spent by for profit medical organizations on these items. Oh they just liked to throw their profits away! So when a person can’t look at things like that and draw a reasonable conclusion that they wouldn’t be spending millions on these things if they didn’t work based on science…well you’re not going to convince these ignorant people of anything! They will trust with 1000 percent a wild mouth nightly cable host or a renegade misguided podcast master over ANY legitimate expert in healthcare. So just stop trying to convince these people. I know it angers me too that I can’t know who the unvaccinated are so I could avoid them. I certainly do avoid the ones I am aware of. And the unmasked in public indoor spaces I avoid them too. But I for one am done with them. Truth will set them free and perhaps more free, as in the great beyond, than they might want! But we are all subject to the consequences of our actions, as one commenter already pointed out. And do shall all the non maskers and anti vaccination crowd. And quite frankly I have reached the point as most that I have no sympathy for those people anymore. Maybe nature is just weeding out the weak minded as it does in other ways! So carry on folks. Life has a few lessons for you!

  2. John Doe on September 21st, 2021 7:54 am

    uh, Jeannine, plenty of counties in Florida have rejected the governor’s mask mandate. The courts have ruled that the State cannot withhold funds from schools over them mandating masks.

  3. Jeannine on September 20th, 2021 10:53 pm

    I don’t understand all this hullabaloo. The governor already said that there will be no MANDATE for school children. This simply means you can wear the mask if you choose. What’s the problem?

  4. Bob on September 20th, 2021 10:32 pm


    Again, present your evidence.

    There is a mountain of evidence that masks reduce transmission rate.
    There is a mountain of evidence that washing your hands kills viruses and bacteria.
    There is a mountain of evidence that social distancing reduced transmission of COVID-19.
    There is a mountain of evidence that shows the vaccines reduce both symptoms and transmission rate

    Stop listening to armchair doctors on Facebook and start listening to people who are experts in their field.

  5. MtnDewey on September 20th, 2021 5:48 pm

    @Bob. no you are completely wrong in everything you typed.

  6. MtnDewey on September 20th, 2021 5:36 pm

    ” those who sacrifice freedom for liberty, deserve neither.” Benjamin Franklin.

    and no, washing your hands does not make a difference, it is airborne. masks do not stop it, neither do vaccines. get some education on it for you self righteous arm chair doctors out there. this is plain and simple, a weaponized virus, developed by china, funded by the NIH and others. read up on eugenics. question all authority. wear a mask, get a vaccine, but do it feel it is your place to force it on others.

  7. TDG on September 20th, 2021 2:28 pm

    @Ann “Masks Mess Up Your Immune system”
    Would you mind explaining how masks mess up our immune systems?

  8. BT on September 20th, 2021 8:59 am

    0.00066665 is not less than zero. Never has been.
    What else might you be incorrect about?

  9. Trusting the numbers on September 19th, 2021 10:44 pm

    @BT.. The calculation I used to get less than 0 percent was this….. 19 deaths divided by 2,850,074 children in Florida less than 12 years old and then multiplied by 100 to get an answer of 0.00066665 . This answer is less than 0 percent….That is why the Florida department of health website list the statistic as less than 0 percent. How do you think the numbers should be calculated?

  10. Bob on September 19th, 2021 7:10 pm


    Your comment is exactly why we need a mask mandate.

    A bunch of people in this county have the misguided opinion that their ignorance is better than science.

    Masks work. The vaccines work. Washing your hands works. Social distancing works. These are all small steps that we can take to reduce the transmission rate and save lives. There have been dozens of studies from virtually every medical institute on the planet supporting that conclusion.

    If you have any evidence to the contrary, go ahead and submit it to a journal to be peer reviewed and collect your Nobel Prize.

  11. Booger Johnson on September 19th, 2021 6:47 pm

    @kane….Great Job on the Board! If you want your kids to wear a mask then have them wear one and vise versa. Those that wanted the mandate, I’m assuming you all are vaccinated and wear your mask all the time. Live your own life and let others live theirs. Cause if the mask and vaccine work so well you’ll have nothing to worry about.

  12. Booger Johnson on September 19th, 2021 6:46 pm

    Great Job on the Board! If you want your kids to wear a mask then have them wear one and vise versa. Those that wanted the mandate, I’m assuming you all are vaccinated and wear your mask all the time. Live your own life and let others live theirs. Cause if the mask and vaccine work so well you’ll have nothing to worry about.

  13. Lee on September 19th, 2021 5:36 pm

    @Jlb – What qualified people have said masks and the vaccine don’t work? It’s one thing to say you don’t want to do those things, but it’s irresponsible to spread disinformation.

  14. DT on September 19th, 2021 4:56 pm

    Wear your mask if you want. I follow the science and the numbers are going down. Rarely is personal responsibility mentioned regarding poor health conditions that cause the tragic deaths. If you’re diabetic, a smoker, etc and don’t manage these conditions you’re also to blame.

  15. Citizen on September 19th, 2021 4:47 pm

    the national guard transporting students was in other states.

  16. BT on September 19th, 2021 4:10 pm

    “low death rate of 19 which is again<0 percent."

    I don't trust those numbers. That's not how math works.

  17. kane on September 19th, 2021 10:57 am

    I think what has happened here is that the slogan the propaganda of “a free society” “Freedom” “Rights” that we have lost scope of what all of that means.

    In our country today we suffer from to many freedoms so many in fact that we start making choices that only directly benefit ourselves and do not think of our fellow Americans.

    It does not mean you have the freedom the choice to endanger other peoples lives either through direct actions, indirectly or simply by doing nothing. It does not mean you have the freedom to place responsibility for your actions on someone else. It does not mean you have the freedom the right to mislead and misinform. It does not mean you have the freedom to tear down people and fabricate lies to achieve your goals.

    Do not make the mistake to think that because you have the ability to do or not do something that you have a “Right” a “Freedom” to do or not do it. Consequences do not care if you believe in masks, vaccines, politicians. Consequences are what you pay for your “personal choice” in this case it’s the lives of those you love.

    You say you want to protect them yet you mourn them with “no mask mandate” and “no vaccine” protests. You say you love them yet refuse to do the least thing you can to keep them alive. Enjoy your personal choice as the bodies grow around you.

  18. Jlb on September 19th, 2021 9:27 am

    I agree with the school board on this one. Henry mask do not stop the spread of covid….the vaccine doesn’t stop the spread of covid….it’s a virus an sad to say it’s here to stay. Mask are uncomfortable an touched by most people who wear them,so the are contaminate. I know many who wear mask an still have gotten covid. Even the so called experts had to admit the same thing. Covid is now on the way down. Citizens needs to chill. Stop living in fear. Stop giving your right to choose away.
    Like the citizens did when they gave up the right to vote for our school superintendent. Thank you again to the school board for making this decision.

  19. History and Law on September 18th, 2021 11:30 pm

    Can you imagine what people thought when they brought a pus covered cow over to their house and scraped some off and put it a syringe over 100 years ago? Good thing the supreme court ruled it wasn’t up to the individual to make the decision what they could or coundn’t do.
    Also shows at least three of the school board members don’t know what their duty and responsility is.
    They will.

  20. John R on September 18th, 2021 10:14 pm


    Does this mean I don’t have to wear pants to school anymore? If the school board won’t pass a mask mandate to protect the health of students, then why should we have dress codes to protect people’s squeamishness?

  21. This isn't going to age well on September 18th, 2021 9:18 pm

    I guess these people don’t like the health department inspecting restaurants nor having regulations about the food provided in our grocery stores. With this mentality we would still have polio and small pox running rampant. Even for you bible thumpers, ever heard of the leper colony?
    Do people get rabies vaccinations for animals?
    Do you wear a seat belt? Do you drive the speed limit especially in school zones?
    Can bullies punch your child on the bus?
    Can they throw food in the cafeteria?

    The inmates don’t run the asylum.

    This is setting precedence for young rebels to defy authority and science.

  22. Steve on September 18th, 2021 8:47 pm

    I have read the article and most of the comments. Despite the attempts to frame this as a health issue this is breaking down as a political tribal and emotional issue. Fear is being used skillfully to hide political affiliation and as a back door to bring down a popular governor. This song is old and has been played too many times. The urge to have the state control other peoples children to calm your fears is insidiously self indulgent. Only the absolutely proven required steps should be mandatory. No masking of children not your own. It is never enough for these fear peddlers. Always more control. Always more taxes. Always more obfuscation of the processes behind more paperwork. ” I want to control YOUR life to calm MY fears” it sounds bad because it is bad.

  23. Trusting the numbers on September 18th, 2021 8:30 pm

    I am also very sorry to hear about the young Washington high student who died from complications of covid. I get very disturbed when I hear about children dying from accidents, covid 19, cancer, abuse etc.. I love children and I feel it is the responsibility of the adults to take care of them. In regards to mask mandates, I am against the mask mandates because the statistics therefore the science does not support that type of overreach. The weekly report shows there are 4,822,158 children in Florida age 0-19. Many children of this age group are not in school or have left school. In the past week, out of the 1,253,413 positive cases of covid 19, in children age 0-19, a saddening 359 children have died. The Florida Department of Health report does not say what comorbidities or circumstances of these deaths. That being said, the death rate is less than 0 percent. We need perspective here. I don’t want any child or adult to die but the mask mandate doesn’t seem to be the solution. In Florida, there are 2,850,074 age <12 who are unvaccinated. Most of the elementary age children fall into this category and they are doing well with a low death rate of 19 which is again<0 percent. Why try to force a burdensome unproven mandate on families who are against these measures? I know you are scared. I am too, but division, demands, and name calling aren't helping find solutions for families. How can we create solutions when there is such animosity? The vaccinated against the unvaccinated! The unvaccinated against the vaccinated! I don't have all the answers however, I am positive the solution is not a mask mandate.

  24. Molino Resident on September 18th, 2021 7:42 pm

    @ Josh Jones
    The immunizations that children are required to have to attend public school makes you COMPLETELY immune to those diseases. The COVID vaccine does not. You can still catch it, you can still spread it. Wearing a mask is not a full proof way of preventing the virus. It was shown last year that the virus will still spread wether the students wear masks or not. Not only that, but students are suffering academically because they are so uncomfortable that they cannot concentrate to do their work. As the parent of a student in all AP classes, I can tell you that I will NOT be in favor of forcing students to wear masks that keep them from reaching their full potential just because people are under the assumption that they cannot get and spread the virus. If you want your child to wear one then by all means have them do it. That is your choice. It is my choice to allow my child to take the risk and not wear one if she so chooses. If she wants to wear one then all the better but I will not force it on her or any other child.

  25. Ann on September 18th, 2021 7:30 pm

    I Think Our Governor Is Doing A Great Job For Florida
    Masks Mess Up Your Immune system They Say They Work Then They Say they Don’t Then They Say Wear Three Where Does It End

  26. Jeb on September 18th, 2021 7:17 pm

    Way to go school board!

  27. Lindi Lathrop on September 18th, 2021 6:12 pm

    I agree with the school board. The government or any other entity should not have to tell a parent how to raise their child they should make that decision and make their child mind them. Do you want your kid to wear a mask, make them wear a mask-For heaven sake be a parent. It is not your job or your business to tell the next-door neighbor how to raise their kid and it certainly isn’t the school boards or the governments Job to make someone have your opinion. Our children wear a mask at school, because we told them to! See how easy that is…. We did not need the school board to mandate or the governor either!

  28. Grandma Clampett on September 18th, 2021 4:58 pm

    so the School Board thinks parents have freedom of choice and are not under the law of the land in their schools.
    Great, I think I’ll send my pet cow and goat and unvaccinated dog with rabies to school with my YOUN uns…/s


    DeSantis is screwing this up royally.

    I though he had a law degree..

    We are a constitutional republic, under the rule of law. That is what orders our society and gives us our freedom.

    Our children are free to attend public schools in as safe of an environment as possible and masks and vaccines are part of that.

    Git er done.

    You could have caveats for sports, possible testing for that…

    Doing nothing will not stand.

  29. Lee on September 18th, 2021 3:41 pm

    It seems there is a lot of talk, and misunderstanding, about personal freedom. I’m sure many people remember when people who worked in food service were required to get a health card. We’ve had vaccine requirements in this country for years. Anyone who served in the military probably can’t even tell you how many mandatory shots they were given. We even vaccinate and license pets. Please tell me who in this country is “free” to do just as they please? Where are the folks now who proclaim “freedom isn’t free”? Maybe we should give more thought to responsibility. Some people might drive 100 around a curve when the speed limit is 40, but most don’t. Some might swim at the beach when there are restrictions, but most don’t. Some people might send kids to school sick, but most don’t. Most people do what benefits not just them, but others. It benefits society. Collective wellbeing and safety is a benefit we EARN through acting responsibly. That might mean I am late for work because driving responsibly instead of disregarding the law benefits me AND others. Not masking and not being vaccinated benefits only the person who doesn’t want to do those things. That’s the equivalent of the person who drives 100 mph around the curve, resulting in an accident, causing njury or death to innocent people, and ties up traffic for hours, resulting in lots of people being late for work. We are in Year Two of this pandemic. Continuing to ignore responsibility will get us more of the same.

    I’m very disappointed that there wasn’t even a vote on a mask mandate. Voters are paying attention.

    Lee for the Greater Good

  30. J.Larry Seale on September 18th, 2021 3:29 pm

    what we need is a Superintendent like
    Bud Hall. use to be ……He had more than enough
    guts to stand up………..
    School board gets what it payed for boness chicken

  31. Citizen on September 18th, 2021 3:25 pm

    People do not make sense.
    They think it’s OK for Typhoid Mary to get a job as the cook in the lunch room.

    They must think it’s OK for someone with an AIDS diagnosis to have unprotected sex with everyone and anyone and not disclose that.

    The School Board needs to take a good look at the public health laws or I believe they will be facing a lawsuit.

    Faulty reasoning about public health and ignorance about the laws already in place are running amuk here.

  32. D H on September 18th, 2021 1:36 pm

    Tim Smith Superintendent is a perfect meaning of “yellow streak down his back. Every news story I have watched when he is present, he never has anything to say or can’t quite get out the words. Get another job – Escambia County don’t need you. Smith is more interested in the money than taking responsibility for his job.

    I have been vaccinated with the poison and got Covid so severe afterwards, that I probably needed to be hospitalized. I’m not for the vaccines after speaking with Moderna. They stated there is no data research to guarantee that the vaccines work or immune anyone. Your symptoms may be less severe, but that’s a lie too. I was knocking on heaven’s door for 10 days.

    All of you go ahead and do what you gotta do. Wear masks or not, get vaccinated or not. But, I do wear a mask everywhere and I even wash them after use. A variety of masks is the spice of life. Don’t forget to constantly wash your hands.

  33. Bama54 on September 18th, 2021 1:34 pm

    I say one for the US Government!! The higher ups in government can’t make up their minds on the masks either. One day they say they work and a few days later maybe not so much! Putting this topic in nut shell is the liberals want to tell you what to do and insist you do it or you’re bad person if you don’t comply. The conservatives say wear the masks if it makes you feel better, and do not call you a bad person for doing so. The government has accomplished the divide by putting friends against friends, neighbors against neighbors about the masks and about the vaccine. They have also did the same about race issues putting individuals in a box telling you, you have to choose black/white/green or yellow or you are called a racist. Open your eyes to see what is really happening to our country!!

  34. A parent on September 18th, 2021 1:17 pm

    Great call!!! Let the psrents pick and choose. Not all people are made the same its no ones place but yours to dp what you think is safe for you. Regardless if its weqr a mask or not!!! Stop trying to force others to things you want them to. This america home of the free. well america not so free anymore

  35. Awaken, not awoken on September 18th, 2021 12:53 pm

    Why stop there? Require full hazmat suits as this virus must kill everything it sees.

  36. Jason on September 18th, 2021 12:50 pm

    Make parents responsible for their own kids. If you support a mask mandate then make your kids wear a mask. Dont make others who have other beliefs wear a mask. If the mask is so protective then why does it matter whether the other one wears a mask. You believe in the mask so much then your child should be safe whether or not the next kid wears one right? Kinda like intimacy. You choose whether or not to use protection but understand the risks if you dont. I mean come on this is 2021.

  37. NJD on September 18th, 2021 12:28 pm

    What about Areas of the school day where masks protection is impossible? Students are being exposed.

    Lunch, water, and snack breaks. Students eating lunch in their classroom with no / limited social distancing.

    Band – Impossible to play a wind instrument and not blowing air out!

    Most PE class instructions involves rapid heart rate with deep breath. During most group activities, students would be near another student during part of the activity.

    Even if everyone wore a mask, students would be exposed during part of the school day.

  38. Miguel on September 18th, 2021 12:23 pm

    Really hoping these freedom fighters get rid of helmets for athletes, let em’ choose.

  39. William 2 on September 18th, 2021 12:21 pm

    No one is being stopped from wearing a mask, if you want to wear a mask, wear a mask, send your kids to school with mask, no one is stopping you!!!! The recent uptick in covid cases is a direct result of the Biden administration opening the Southern border, then bussing infected illegals across the country. Recently, data shows that 1 out of 5 illegal immigrants are covid positive, with over a hundred thousand illegal immigrants flooding over the Southern border each month, but the propagandists want us to believe that the recent increase is caused by unvaccinated Americans…

  40. Lee on September 18th, 2021 12:19 pm

    @Concerned. As of this morning 1 in every 320 people in Mississippi has died from COVID. There are VERY few people who cannot wear masks due to medical conditions. I have to wonder why people who won’t wear masks even bother getting any kind of medical care. Most people have really vague understanding of how medications, etc., work, but willingly, if not gladly, take them. We even get pages of information about interactions and side effects with prescriptions. I doubt most people even read that information. They TRUST their care providers. I’m over taking seriously people who won’t mask or get vaccinated. Let the majority, who get the vaccine and wear masks, get back to work and school. Those not willing are the minority, so let them stay home. And put folks who have been vaccinated be given first consideration when ICU beds are in short supply. Why should a vaccinated person who has a medical emergency be turned away because someone one who evidently doesn’t believe in science suddenly wants treatment? Again, there are VERY few people who CANNOT wear a mask.

  41. Bob on September 18th, 2021 11:48 am

    If mask work, why do people wearing mask catch covid?

  42. TDG on September 18th, 2021 11:30 am

    @concerned “don’t try to force someone who has current health issues having a hard time to breathe to wear one. mind your business and go about your day” If a mask makes it hard to breathe, I’d hate to hear what you would say about having to be on oxygen, or worse yet, on a ventilator. I AM minding my own business, my daughter brought covid home from her high school, where she sits next to a student whose parents say this is all a hoax, don’t believe in vaccines, masks, etc. Thanks to this the rest of the family was quarantined for almost two weeks, missing work and school.

    How can the schools mandate all kinds of clothing regulations, but not this? They regulate shorts and skirt lengths, graphics on shirts, visible bra straps, hats and hoodies, all manner of things in minute detail. And claim they are unable to mandate another item worn on the body… Weak, and illogical.

  43. BT on September 18th, 2021 11:24 am

    Somewhere along the line, we’ve got to get back to our business educating our children,”

    You can’t educate children and protect them at the same time?

  44. Kane on September 18th, 2021 11:20 am

    So I see our officials are more worried about hurting peoples feelings then saving children’s lives. I don’t care if you think masks work or not if there is even a slim chance that they do anything then we must MASK UP to save kids I mean unless you’re an evil villain then this is an easy choice. Also ask yourself “what would Jesus do?” I’ll tell you what he’d do MASK UP because Jesus loves kids.

  45. concerned on September 18th, 2021 10:36 am

    I mean like really folks if you want to wear a mask then wear it but don’t try to force someone who has current health issues having a hard time to breathe to wear one. mind your business and go about your day. I mean like really what if they say for the good of mankind your required to wear a plastic grocery bag over your head . ( you catch my drift ) let’s let this virus play out and stop putting fear in our kids and fear in the elderly . just use common sense and let’s stop this madness. we are all smarter than this. take back our country show more love and respect. do the right things . happy holidays my friends.

  46. Bill on September 18th, 2021 10:16 am

    “ If I favor with you all, I’m wrong. If I favor with the other group who doesn’t want masks, I’m wrong.”

    No. Right and wrong doesn’t change based on who you’re talking to. Your parents should have taught you that.


    A teenage girl lost her life. If that doesn’t convince you, consider me in a different tribe. I’m done discussing it because you have no sense of reason. Those of you who don’t get vaxed and wear masks are putting covid in front of human life. I will not mince words. You are bad people.

  47. Common sense mom on September 18th, 2021 9:47 am

    People should make their own choices. If you want your kids to wear a mask, make them wear a mask. I’ll bet a lot of these same parents who say they want a mask mandate in the schools are the same ones I see in the grocery store or at restaurants without masks. I have two kids in two different schools, and counting all nieces and nephews, there at 12 kids in 8 different schools in this area. Only one kid has been quarantined and NONE have come home sick. We also don’t mind if others wear masks (kids or adults). I teach my kids that we don’t know what other people’s circumstances are so a mask might be necessary for them to stay safe. We follow basic rules- wash your hands often, don’t share drinks or clothes, and take your vitamins.

  48. MCfromGB on September 18th, 2021 9:46 am

    Notice who’s not wearing a mask? Anyone in these pictures

  49. Donna Webb on September 18th, 2021 9:45 am

    How sad. If you are against the mask mandates then you are for killing children. Typical democratic argument when the facts are not on your side just shout Racism or Murder. How intelligent, how about citing studies on the effect of children wearing mask?? As one board member said lets go after DeSantis, the children are your job and not getting the Governor. People are so turned by all the fear mongering, please stop and trust parents to do what think is best for THEIR children.

  50. SueB on September 18th, 2021 9:30 am

    Wear the mask or dont wear the mask. The choice is up to the parents. Take the vaccine or not. The choice is up to the parents. Parents, do your research on Pfizer which is now called COMIRNATY® (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) a vaccine approved by FDA after their testing of the vaccine.
    Don’t listen to biden, he is a puppet.

  51. Trish on September 18th, 2021 9:07 am

    I am against mask mandates. If you are so sure that mask works, then by all means force your child to wear one but don’t make someone else force their child to wear one. Just a little FYI, in order for your paper mask to be effective you would need to change it every 2o minutes. If you are at school for 8 hours that’s 24 mask a day. I read that in a science journal and we all trust science don’t we? By the way, I don’t believe in forced vaccinations either.

  52. MOTHER on September 18th, 2021 8:49 am

    As of Friday night, the Escambia district reported 216 students and 41 staff positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days, and an additional 691 students in quarantine.


  53. Rasheed Jackdon on September 18th, 2021 8:44 am

    It amazes me that people are so divided on this. The federal government is pushing for mask mandates yet we consistently see them in large gatherings unmasked. They are also pushing for vaccine mandates yet have not mandated it for members of congress. The present administration has done little to nothing to stop the influx of illegal migrants, who are carrying covid and no telling what else, across the border but here we are arguing and divided over whether or no to mandate children wearing masks at school. If you want your child to wear a mask put one on them, only problem is it is not the individuals child that one is concerned with it is other people’s children they fear. Yes fear, the driving force behind all this. God please have mercy on our nation!!

  54. J.Larry Seale on September 18th, 2021 8:25 am


  55. fisherman on September 18th, 2021 8:23 am

    If you want to wear a mask wear it and stop worrying what others do. The vaccinated worrying about the non vaccinated not wearing a mask how crazy is that. V.P Harris stated she would not get vaccinated if Trump told her to and now she pushes it. All this double talk for the past 8 months is the problem. People wearing a mask in the car while alone driving now that is crazy also. Information about wearing the mask/double mask and even triple mask has changed as much as i have changed my shorts and people wonder why we do not trust our Government.

  56. Pat Smith on September 18th, 2021 8:07 am

    Wearing a mask is a personal choice. Mandates are not law and violate the Constitution. If you want your child to mask up is a parental decision not a government one. The fearmongers have to stop and allow our children to receive an education.

  57. Steve on September 18th, 2021 7:56 am

    If you believe the masks work, why would it matter if other people are wearing it? If it works and you wear it, aren’t you protected?

    Why don’t some of the Science Teachers do an experiment to prove/disprove the effectiveness of various masks? Masks are readily available, at an affordable price, and it should be relatively easy to do. Maybe then, we’d get some good “science” to follow.

  58. Josh Jones on September 18th, 2021 7:55 am

    “I will wear a mask, but I am not going to vote to make somebody wear a mask.”

    But the board member has no problem, I bet, with mandating the students get immunized for Polio, Hepatitis B, Measles, Chickenpox, Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis, etc. Why? Because these diseases are contagious, and a non-immunized child could bring to school one of these and infect large parts of their classmates, if not all immunized.

    Since Covid-19 is also contagious, and since children are not currently being vaccinated, why the hesitancy to mandate mask wearing?

  59. JD on September 18th, 2021 7:38 am

    It’s always kinda hillarious when 50 people show up at one of these meetings and speak their piece and think that the boards have to rule in their favor to be right. What it is failed to have been realized is that there is several thousand that might not agree with them . But just because the 50 or so showed up to speak the 50 think it’s got to be their way or no way. But I do commend them for showing up. Ruling in one direction just because of who shows up to speak never is good precedent. Good job school board.

  60. Paul on September 18th, 2021 7:33 am

    You need every tool possible to fight C19.
    Going mask less is leaving out one of them.
    This is a failure, I expected it from their ilk.

  61. Bewildered on September 18th, 2021 7:09 am

    Let’s face it – all that hesitation about vaccinations stems from the daily changes and fear mongering our politicians thrive on. consistency in applying this order should be foremost!! all military members are now forced to take the shot or they will be discharged! apply these same stringent rules to the thousands of illegal immigrants entering the country daily carrying with them all kinds of diseases. Apply them to all incarcerated folks, to everyone applying for welfare, unemployment, drug counseling etc. Why single out the working people? everybody should be forced to comply or it should be left up to individuals to take the shots or not.

  62. StraightShooter on September 18th, 2021 6:37 am

    No one is stopping a student from wearing a mask. As Slayton said, make your child wear a mask if you want to. Not the boards decision to make, it the parents. Good Job ECSB on this.

  63. Just Michelle on September 18th, 2021 6:30 am

    No one is preventing anyone from wearing a mask. If a mask makes a person feel safer by all means wear one.

  64. Henry Coe on September 18th, 2021 5:38 am

    Welcome to another round of almost doing what we should to stop the spread of Covid-19.

  65. joy bryant on September 18th, 2021 5:01 am

    Children being sick and dying are NEVER a reason to have a mask mandate–just too hard to be unpopular and WORTHLESS

  66. Citizen on September 18th, 2021 2:08 am

    I just watched the video and the speakers. They were very well spoken.

    I can see the problem with having a superintendent that answers to the board not the people. He said it is their decision.

    Some of the board is uninformed on their thoughts in this case. Sure, personal responsibility is important but in this case they were elected to set policy and they don’t need to shirk their duty. Mr Adams, I think you don’t understand the science. I think you will have the vote from Dr. Edler, Ms Hightower seemed to support it. A 3 -2 will get it done.

    They need to follow CDC guidelines. The Governor has this wrong also. It is the duty of the state to protect the public health during a contagious outbreak. The children under age 12 can not get the vaccine but the CDC recommends all over 12 get it. FDA has approved it over 16.

    They need to review Jacobson Vs Massachusetts 1905 Settled in the US Supreme court and the subsequent laws already in place in 1922 about innoculations for children attending public school.

    It is not up to each individual to do as they chose, by law, in a constitutional republic. If some absolutely won’t comply they can keep their children home.
    DeSantis’s EO posted on the DOE site is not the entire story, he cited a Brown University study about masks but clearly the science demonstrates that wearing a mask stops/ slows down the spread by keeping droplets, cough and sneezes to one self.
    Wash their hands, spread them out, check the ventilation systems.

    The county is asking for input about the rescue plan money. Use it to buy masks for schools and protect our school board from the Governor if he chooses to fine us.

    The School boards needs to call a emergency meeting pronto and vote to put in the mask mandate. Sure someone may take it off here and there but overall it is the duty to protect their health and ensure the public schools are not a breeding ground for infectious disease.

    It’s the law from over 100 years ago. You already have your precedence. We as a country have been through smallpox, polio, the Spanish Flu, measles mumps rubella and other disease outbreaks.

    Do your job. Doing nothing is not an option. Follow the laws as our compass that are already proven and on the books.

    Mr Adams, please talk with someone who can explain how pandemics become endemics. You can’t just let it run its course, virus will mutate.

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