A 10-year-old Floridian gave an impassioned rebuke of school mask requirements when addressing his school board last week in a speech that every single adult in this country needs to hear right now.
Addressing the Martin County School District in Florida last week, the boy, named John according to Fox News, gave an account of his surprise at finding that rules imposed at the beginning of the school year which continued longer than he expected “didn’t make sense.”
“I just turned 10 years old and I am a fourth-grader at Felix A. Williams,” the young man began.
“I expected school to be a little bit different in the beginning, but I didn’t think it would stay this way all year long. And I was surprised by the rules. A lot of them didn’t make any sense to me like the fact that we were not allowed to play on 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. and on track,” John explained.
“I love my school and all, but my teachers seem really stressed and that makes me feel bad.”
It’s easy to imagine teachers are stressed with the task of enforcing COVID-19 restrictions among their young charges, but this observant student went on to explain that what is most frustrating for him to witness is exactly how these restrictions are being enforced.
“One teacher walks around with a clipboard full of referrals for any student whose mask isn’t on properly. It makes me feel scared,” John said.
“That same teacher yells at us having our masks down to drink water while we are outside in the car line. She told us that we have to wait until we were in our parent’s cars to have a drink of water. She had her mask down the entire time while she was yelling at us. Which makes me and all of my friends very mad. This happens a lot.”
During his comments, John also noted he’d seen a teacher outside of school whom he was able to recognize because she sat at her desk with her mask off. Because students are not allowed the same privilege, however, his teacher did not recognize him.
“I have allergies and I feel really anxious with my face covering. But I’m not allowed a mask break like her,” he said.
John noted it seemed “unfair” to him that teachers could pull their masks down while children were strictly required to keep theirs up.
“I asked my mom if there’s a word for this and she said there is — hypocrisy,” the boy said to audible cheers in the room.
Heart-wrenchingly, however, John also described the negative consequences of wearing a mask all day that many concerned parents have reported among their children subject to mask requirements.
“Wearing a mask all day makes me feel really tired and gives me really bad headaches,” he said.
The young man also said his mask sticks to his face in hot weather, making it difficult to breathe.
“I feel like I can’t catch my breath and that makes me feel claustrophobic and anxious. It’s really stressful,” he said.
“I miss seeing people’s faces. I miss the way things used to be. I’m scared they’ll never go back to normal. Breathing freely doesn’t seem like something we should have to ask any other people for permission for.”
John finished by imploring the school board, “Please make masks optional today. It would be so awesome to end the school year on a really happy note like that.”
This 10 year-old boy just obliterated his school board’s mask mandate and calls out its unfairness and hypocrisy.
You’re going to want to watch this one… pic.twitter.com/8y7SwNOLot
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) May 18, 2021
Following the boy’s remarks, Fox News reported the school board voted 4-1 for masks to remain mandatory for the last 12 days of the school year, and optional starting June 1 for summer school students.
As a mother, I am both applauding John and raging at the people who have subjected his generation to the senseless COVID-19 restrictions that have made an already fraught period of American history that much more psychologically difficult for children.
We have known almost the entire time that children virtually don’t spread COVID-19 — not to their parents, nor their teachers, as per CDC data, in fact.
School boards have been imposing unrealistic, unnecessary and downright unsafe mandates all in the name of “health” — as children are actually experiencing adverse health effects, both physically and mentally, from wearing these things on their faces all day.
If you have children, you’ll know they can figure out pretty quickly that a whole lot of adults don’t practice what they preach and that the world does not make sense.
That’s why parents ought to take it upon themselves to ensure their children have a healthy sense of right and wrong, just like this young man, and understand the fundamentally American concept of holding authority figures accountable.
It is incredibly overwhelming to think of the millions of children just like this boy all across America who have been subjected to these extreme, scientifically baseless protocols to stop the spread of a virus that children don’t spread.
Out of the mouths of babes — good for John’s parents for teaching him to think critically about authority structures from a young age.
With the degree of hypocrisy our nation’s schoolchildren have witnessed first-hand since March 2020, let’s hope there’s a lot of these conversations going on around family dinner tables. We can only pray the next generation will know better than to let those in power use fear to manipulate the masses into doing something that has nothing to do with science and everything to do with compliance.
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