A 10-year-old boy gave an impassioned speech to a Florida school board begging the council to end the district’s in-school mask mandate.
The fourth-grader told the Martin County School District in southeastern Florida that teachers often defy the mask mandate. He recalls one teacher who yells at students if they lower their masks to take a sip of water outdoors. The boy claims that he saw his teacher off school property and recognized her because she takes “mask breaks” at her desk, though she did not recognize him as the same privilege is not given to students.
In his impassioned speech, the young boy pleaded with the school board to remove the district’s mask mandate immediately.
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
I just turned ten years old and I’m a fourth-grader at Felix A. William. 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’re 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.
I love my school and all, but my teachers seem really stressed and it makes me feel bad. One teacher walks around with a clipboard full of referrals for any student whose mask isn’t on properly. It 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. She told us that we have to wait until we’re 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. She makes me and all of my friends very mad. This happens a lot.
It seems unfair that teachers take their masks off while they yell at us kids, and we need to pull ours up. I asked my mom if there’s a word for this and she said there is — hypocrisy.
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. 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.
I finished taking all my FSA’s and I had a hard time focusing with a mask on. A few weeks ago I ran into my teacher outside of school. She didn’t even recognize me because she’s never seen my face before. Well, I knew it was her because she sits at her desk a lot without a mask on. I know my teacher has asthma and everything, but I understand why it’s hard for her to wear a mask. And I think she should have that choice. But I should too.
I have allergies and I feel really anxious with my face covering. But I’m not allowed a mask break like her. It seems unfair. All of this seems unfair and it doesn’t make sense.
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.
Please make masks optional today. It would be so awesome to end the school year on a really happy note like that. Thank you for your time.
Following the speech, the Martin County school board voted 4-1 to make masks optional beginning June 1. Masks will also be optional for upcoming graduation ceremonies and during summer school.