PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – The Pasco County Schools district announced it will continue requiring all students to wear masks through the rest of the school year.
On Tuesday, the superintendent said he made a mistake earlier in April when he claimed that the district’s ability to require masks depended on the governor’s executive order.READ MORE: Sarasota Man Arrested And Facing Charges Of Sexual Battery On A Victim Under 12
Some parents say they are upset that masks are still required through the end of the school year, while others say it doesn’t seem like a big deal because there’s only a month left.
Parent, Evelyn Imbriani, says “Where is he getting his advice to make this decision?”
Imbriani says she was excited to see earlier in April, an announcement from the district that said “The authority of Pasco Schools to require masks is dependent on whether or not Governor DeSantis’ executive order is extended beyond the expiration date on April 26. If the executive order is not extended, the district will have no choice but to make masks optional.”
On Monday, Pasco County Schools posted on Facebook, taking that statement back.
Kurt Browning, Superintendent of Pasco County Schools said in the Facebook video “I will tell you, I misspoke. I misspoke on that requirement. After that board meeting, I started going back through the school board policy, and our policy actually indicates the superintendent has the authority to require masks in a time of emergency.”
“If he was not well-informed, he should never have opened his mouth and said anything in the first place, because it’s now given people false hope,” said Imbriani.
On Tuesday, Governor DeSantis extended the executive order and Pasco County Schools clarified it will continue requiring masks for the next four weeks, something Imbriani disagrees with.READ MORE: Two Arrested In Shooting At Landmark Motel
“Not seeing faces, I think is psychologically damaging for the children. It’s uncomfortable. My older daughter is a very small child and the masks don’t fit her. She is constantly getting yelled at because the mask is constantly dropping below her nose,” said Imbriani.
Another parent, Farah Banks, says she doesn’t think the decision is that big of a deal.
“We’ve got 20 days left of school, we’ve been wearing masks all along,” said Banks.
She says her eight-year-old daughter understands the reason behind wearing a mask.
“She’s used to it now. She wants to be safe, she wants to keep her friends safe and she wants to keep her teacher safe,” said Banks.
Banks says she wants her child to be able to go to school without a mask, but it’s going to take time.
“We all do our part, we wear our mask, social distance, then when they go back to school in August, they will be free to run around and hug their friends and not have to worry about a mask,” said Banks.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Hospitalizations Rise From 40 To Over 70 At Tampa General Hospital
A district spokesperson says the mask requirement expires no later than the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year.