8-Year-Old Starts Petition to End Mask Mandate at His School


An 8-year-old boy has decided to take matters into his own hands and started a petition to end the mask mandate at his Florida school.

In just four days, Charlie collected 400 signatures to make masks optional in Seminole County schools, WOFL-TV reported.

“I don’t want people to feel uncomfortable by not wearing a mask,” Charlie said.

His friend, Reagan, added, “Some people like to wear them and some people don’t.”

The student got the idea from something he read in a book and he decided to start a petition and collect signatures from his neighbors.

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“It’s been … kind of bad because I can’t see a lot of people, and I can’t tell if they’re happy or sad,” Charlie told Fox News.

There about are 67,000 students and 4,500 teachers in Seminole County, according to WOFL.

Seminole County Public Schools reopened at the beginning of the school year with online and hybrid learning options for families who did not want their students to attend full-time, in-person classes.

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The mask mandate was discussed during a school board meeting Tuesday, WOFL reported.

“I demand that you call a vote to end this disastrous mandate tonight,” one parent, Jessica Tilman, told the board.

“Allow families to make their own healthcare choices immediately.”

Parent Michelle Burroughs added, “It’s time to listen to the people that voted you guys in here. Otherwise, we’re gonna vote you out.”

Charlie also stood up in front of the school board and made a speech about the issue.

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“Wearing masks in school makes it hard for me to breathe,” he said.

“It’s hard to see my paper when I do my work or take a test. Most of the kids I know in school mess with their masks all day. I don’t see many kids getting sick in my school.”

Charlie added, “If we are healthy, our parents should be able to choose whether or not we wear masks.”

The Seminole County Public Schools COVID-19 Dashboard shows 63 active cases of coronavirus in the school district in the past 10 days.

“It would be a shame for ease of use to suddenly take the masks off and get sick again. We don’t want that,” Seminole Education Association member Dan Smith argued.

Charlie and his mother have submitted their petition along with a letter to the school board before it votes on the mask mandate as soon as June 1.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith