FLORIDA: While COVID Surges At Boca Raton-area Elementary Schools, Parents Still Fight Masking.
BY: COVID DESK | BocaNewsNow.com
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — When parents are angry in 2021, they don’t send a letter to an official. Instead, they gripe to each other on Facebook.
And so it goes with parents angry over the new Palm Beach County School District mask mandate. The mandate, approved 6-1 by the school board Wednesday night, goes into effect on Monday. It eliminates the ability of a parent to “opt-out” their child by simply sending a note.
Over the past several hours, BocaNewsNow.com has been alerted to anti-mask Facebook Groups for Calusa Elementary — where cases are surging, Morikami Park Elementary — where cases are also surging, and Palm Beach County as a whole — where the student case count passed 1000 on Thursday night.
The woman who founded the Facebook groups did not immediately respond to a request from BocaNewsNow.com for comment.
Membership was surprisingly low as of Friday morning. Just 13 members for the Calusa group, 10 members for the Morikami group, and 95 members for the Palm Beach County School District group.
Calusa Elementary has been a problem for the school district over the past 18 months. Many parents at the school, according to several officials speaking with BocaNewsNow.com over the time period, refuse to keep their kids home when they are sick. That has kept Calusa near the top of the Palm Beach County School District’s COVID-19 infection list. Early Friday, Calusa reported 18 student cases, and 1 employee case.
”These are parents who believe the rules do not apply to them,” said an official during the 2020-2021 school year. “This is why you are seeing the numbers at the school that you are seeing.” Calusa was considered a “hot spot” by Palm Beach County health officials during the last school year. It is rapidly approaching that distinction again.
Interim Superintendent Michael Burke this week announced that children of anti-maskers are a very small minority of the student population. He suggested just 5 or 6 percent of the 180,000 students attending school this year is unmasked.
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