Palm Beach County parents plan to protest school face mask policy

A Palm Beach County student wears a face mask in class during the 2020_21 school year.jpg
Posted at 3:39 PM, May 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-04 17:47:39-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Thousands of parents are in an uproar and many plan to protest against the School District of Palm Beach County's face mask policy.

Sitting on the floor with plates full of paint, Eliza Lieberman's two school-aged kids made signs on Tuesday, planning to protest.

"The only thing we want as parents, speaking for me and my husband, we want the option to send them to school without a mask," Lieberman said.

Lieberman's daughter is in the fourth grade and her son is in first grade in Palm Beach County.

She's part of the group Unmask Palm Beach County Kids, fighting for the option to have youngsters take their masks off at school after Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended all emergency orders Monday related to COVID-19.

"The only people technically forced to be in masks are little children, which to me is not right. It's been over a year," Lieberman said.

The school district declined an interview, but says according to the Florida Department of Education, the governor's executive order does not impact policies in place at the school level, and the district's facial covering requirement will remain in place.

"I am disappointed in the school board for them keeping it as a quote policy as they call it," said parent Brad Parnell.

More than 5,000 parents have signed a petition to remove the district's mask policy, many parents say they won't send their kids to school on Friday morning and plan to protest outside the district headquarters in what they call a fight for children's basic rights.

"We're gonna be there supporting one another and trying to get attention to the fact that we want to have the choice to send our children to school without a mask," Lieberman said.

The teachers' union also responded Tuesday, with the Classroom Teachers Association president telling WPTV the district's mask policy should remain in place through the end of this school year and should be reviewed over the summer.