A 10-year-old boy delivered an impassioned speech at a school-board meeting in southeastern Florida, imploring the council to immediately make masks optional.
John Provenzano, a fourth-grader at Felix A. William Elementary in Stuart, Florida, told the Martin County School Board he sometimes has suffered debilitating headaches because of the masks.
“I love my school and all, but my teachers seem really stressed, and it makes me feel bad,” he said at the May 12 meeting.
A teacher who goes around enforcing proper mask-wearing, he said, “makes me feel scared.”
“That same teacher yells at us having our masks down to drink water while we are outside in the car line,” he said.
“It seems unfair that teachers take their masks off while they yell at us kids, and we need to pull ours up,” the boy said. “I asked my mom if there’s a word for this and she said there is — hypocrisy.”
The Martin County School Board later voted 4-1 to make masks optional beginning June 1, which is after the school year ends, WPBF-TV in West Palm Beach reported. Masks will also be optional for upcoming graduation ceremonies and during summer school.
The station reported many parents and students at the meeting wanted masks to be made optional immediately.
“As the year has progressed and we’ve collected more data and a better understanding of the virus, I believe there is absolutely no reason for my child to be wearing a mask in school, certainly not a mask outdoors in the Florida heat,” said Tiffany Williams, a parent in Martin County.
But WPBF reported another parent, Marilyn Southwick, supported keeping the mandate in place until the end of the school year.
“Please listen to credible, peer-reviewed data-based research,” she said.
There is “peer-reviewed data-based research,” however, indicating that children rarely get sick from COVID or transmit the coronavirus. And the survival rate of those who do get infected is virtually 100%. The CDC says for those from birth to age 19, it’s 99.997%.
And many studies show masks don’t stop or slow the spread of the virus.
White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci confirmed that in November as he argued for restoring in-person education.
“If you look at the data, the spread among children and from children is not very big at all, not like one would have suspected,” Fauci told ABC’s “This Week.” “So let’s try to get the kids back and try to mitigate the things that maintain and push the kind of community spread we are trying to avoid.”
The first large, randomized controlled trial of its kind showed no statistically significant difference in COVID-19 cases between people who wore masks and those who did not. A study by the Centers for Disease Control in October indicated that Americans were adhering to mask mandates, but they didn’t appear to have slowed or stopped the spread of the coronavirus. And further, it found, mask-wearing has negative effects. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has compiled a page of “Mask Facts” showing that the consensus prior to the coronavirus pandemic was that the effectiveness of mask-wearing by the general public in slowing the spread of a virus is unproven, and there’s evidence it does more harm than good.
The most recent CDC guidelines still recommend mask use for anyone 2 years or older in public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household. However, in March 2020, the CDC said masks “are usually not recommended” in “non-health care settings.” The same month, the World Health Organization recommended people not wear face masks unless they are sick with COVID-19 or caring for someone who is sick. “There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit. In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program in March 2020.
At a school board meeting in April in Colorado Springs, a physician testified “the data [are] overwhelming” that masks “cause low oxygen and high carbon dioxide levels, shortness of breath, toxicity, inflammation, increased stress hormones and sugar in the body, and create fear, anxiety, headaches, compromised cognitive performance and other problems.”
In a video that went viral in April, a mother in Gwinnett County, Georgia, made an emotional plea to her school board to stop making young children wear masks, arguing the evidence shows that are at extremely low risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19.
See Courtney Ann Taylor’s plea:
‘It doesn’t make sense’
The 10-year-old South Florida boy, John Provenzano, said he was “surprised by the rules” at his school.
“A lot of them didn’t make any sense to me, like the fact that we’re not allowed to play on the playground or have student council or turn to face each other at lunch,” he said. “And we also have to wear masks outside at P.E. and on track.”
He said that wearing a mask all day “makes me feel really tired and gives me really bad headaches.”
“Sometimes I’m at school and I need to lay low in the dark until they’re gone,” he said. “My mask also sticks to my face when it’s hot, and it makes it hard to breathe. I feel like I can’t catch my breath and that makes me feel claustrophobic and anxious. It’s really stressful.”
The boy said he understands why his teacher, who has asthma, sits at her desk many times without a mask on.
“I think she should have that choice,” he said. “But I should, too.”
“I have allergies and I feel really anxious with my face covering,” the boy said. “But I’m not allowed a mask break like her. It seems unfair. All of this seems unfair, and it doesn’t make sense.”
He said he missed seeing people’s faces.
“I miss the way things used to be,” he said. “I’m scared they’ll never go back to normal,” he said.
“Breathing freely doesn’t seem like something we should have to ask any other people for permission for.”
He urged the board to make masks optional immediately.
“It would be so awesome to end the school year on a really happy note like that,” he concluded. “Thank you for your time.”
See John Provenzano’s plea:
“All of this seems unfair, and it doesn’t make sense.”
A 10-year-old boy made an impassioned plea for his school board to ditch mask requirements, accusing his school of “hypocrisy” because teachers often pull their masks down. pic.twitter.com/e54zeE5wHC
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 18, 2021
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