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AskFlagler Reader Poll: Do You Support a Mask Mandate in Flagler’s Public Schools?

ⓒ Stephen Helfrich

It’s the hottest topic of debate in Florida’s education realm this month. Governor Ron DeSantis issued an order barring school districts from instituting mask mandates, and one by one, several Florida counties are choosing to institute one nonetheless.

As of this weekend, seven counties have put a mask mandate on their schools:  Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Hillsborough, Alachua, Leon, and Sarasota. The politics of the mandates (and the resistance against them) are unavoidable: six out of these seven counties are considered mostly Democratic. Sarasota is the lone exception; the southwest Florida county has voted Republican in each presidential election from 1948 to the present.

Read More: Florida School Districts Clash With DeSantis Over Mask Mandates, Flagler Complies After Much Debate

Flagler County was just one school board vote away from approving a mask mandate of its own, though the version most likely to have passed would’ve incorporated provisions to stay within the bounds of the Governor’s order. Board member Colleen Conklin put forth a motion to have an opt-out mask policy for Flagler Schools at the meeting last Tuesday, and was seconded by Cheryl Massaro. Chairman Trevor Tucker was joined by members Jill Woolbright and Janet McDonald overruling Conklin’s motion.

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Discourse surrounding mask mandates in Flagler County has boiled over on social media, as both sides assert passionately that their cause is critically important. Those supporting some form of mandate say it’s about protecting students’ lives, while those against it consider this an unencroachable declaration of their personal freedoms. Advocates for each mindset took to the podium to implore the school board for their support on Tuesday, and things were at one point so on-edge that the board chambers were cleared.

In this AskFlagler poll, we’re asking our readers: do you think mask mandates on public schools are the right decision for Flagler schools? The answer to this question isn’t necessarily tied to Flagler’s own likelihood to institute a mandate in the future, but considers the merit of mandates as an at-large concept.

Some other things to consider with this poll: it’s not conducted scientifically, which means the results are not meant to be a definite, quotable representation of Flagler County’s opinion of the matter as a whole. In other words, if 70% voted one way, it would not be accurate to claim this poll as evidence that 70% of Flagler County felt that way.

With that being said…

THIS POLL HAS ENDED.

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Please vote one time. One vote is allowed from one email address. Please do not spam the poll with fake emails addresses, especially ones attacking people. Those votes will be removed. 

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. TR

    August 23, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    I’ve said this before. Wearing a mask for more than 20 minutes at a time can cause more problems that not wearing one at all. It has been said since day one, kids are not in danger of transmitting the virus no more than they are of transmitting the flu, but yet they are not forced for years past to wear a mask during flu season.

    • Kevin H

      August 23, 2021 at 8:44 pm

      No to mask mandates.

      We have 4 kids in 3 different Palm Coast schools and signed the waiver for each; we feel masks do lore harm than good. Also, the masks worn by 95% + of the kids don’t work, that’s the >actual< science.

      ~Kevin

    • DW

      August 24, 2021 at 4:20 am

      Both of those statements are not supported by reliable evidence.

      1. Wearing a face covering is safe. It has been done for years with countless studies supporting efficacy and safety.

      2. Kids are spreading the Delta variant very quickly, and furthermore, flu outbreaks across the country and in the world have resulted in both school closures and face mask wearing.

      • TR

        August 24, 2021 at 9:44 pm

        DW, maybe go talk to a scientist about masks. I have and I also talked to a medical heart specialist PA from Emery Hospital in Atlanta. They both confirmed my statement about masks doing more damage that good. Not to mention it has been all over the news and throughout the medical field that masks do not stop the spread of Covid.
        But hey, you believe what you want and I’ll believe the professionals. Oh and btw, IMO Dr. Faucie keeps flip flopping on masks and is making tons of money with this virus, so his credibility in my opinion is as useless as the masks.

      • Dennis

        August 26, 2021 at 12:10 pm

        Really!!!! Please stop by Home Depot or Lowe’s and read the disclaimer on every box of N95 masks! Then come back to me the efficacy of a surgical mask. Thanks, I’ll wait for your response dumb a**!

        • TR

          August 27, 2021 at 6:59 am

          Yea like I’ll believe the disclaimers from a corp office. They are just as much the problem for pushing and repeating the left wing idiot beliefs that they also get from Fauci. Your the Dumb a** for believing it, you puppet di** head.

          • DW

            August 29, 2021 at 12:15 am

            To TR. I don’t have cable and therefore don’t listen specifically to Fauci or anyone. I do; however, regularly visit medical journals to ensure I have direct access to actual research to see if something I’m hearing is loosely based on a minority research or if it its widely studied (which I suggest we all do).

            One of the most recent articles I stumbled on is “Toxicity and verbal aggression on social media: Polarized discourse on wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic,” published by Bid Data & Society in SAGE Journals.

            “n other words, we expected tweets with this hashtag to be more informational and appeal more to reason showing facts and/or evidence that would contradict claims regarding the effectiveness of masks as a way to plant doubt in readers. Instead, what we found was that, while some of the tweets we analyzed did in fact include images, links, and information from research studies discrediting the effectiveness of masks, most references were informal, as prima facie, without providing scientific evidence to support the claim that #MasksDontWork. This is an important finding for the study of infodemic because it shows that, at least in the context of face mask wearing as a preventive measure to combat COVID-19, users on social media seem to be less attracted to posts citing scientific information and more driven to posts that emphasize emotion, anecdotes, and those that reflect on their own personal experiences.”

      • M

        August 27, 2021 at 9:56 am

        Well said! I can tell you educated yourself on this subject before you stated your response. Wish all would check facts before spreading false information.

  2. Ron

    August 23, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    I do not support child abuse. Wearing a mask is certainly child abuse. Let the parents decide. The parent has the right and freedom to determine what is in the best interest of their child.

    • Christopher wallace

      August 23, 2021 at 8:52 pm

      Masks do nothing! My child will not wear a mask!

    • AL

      August 24, 2021 at 6:29 am

      Right out of Tucker Carlson’s nonsensical diatribes. Child abuse is exposing your child unnecessarily to COVID. Kids are dying from and exposing their more vulnerable family members to chronic, livelong impairment or death. No complaints about the dozen or so vaccinations that kids are required to get before starting school? You don’t have a choice about car safety restraints for your kids. You do have a choice about getting your facts straight and not from Tucker Carlson.

      TR, who said that “since day one” wearing a mask more than 20 minutes causes problems? Not the daylong mask wearing healthcare workers watching their young patients die.

  3. Rusty

    August 23, 2021 at 8:03 pm

    Child abuse is when you don’t take reasonable precautions to keep your kid from getting a highly transmitted disease that can kill them or others. Parents that want to kill their kids by not allowing masks need to be brought up on charges of child endangerment and if their kid knowingly infects or kills another child by spreading Covid that parent should be charged with murder or attempted murder.

  4. JC

    August 23, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    Omg! Wearing masks saves lives. It is not child abuse and covid is not the flu. The first two comments are from two misinformed people. Yes! Masks should be a mandated. Because children under the age of 12 cannot be vaccinated. How many children are we going to lose because of this ignorance? We lost 14 people in 4 days in Flagler. Children can transmit covid and there is no evidence that wearing a mask can hurt a child.

    • Dee

      August 24, 2021 at 10:11 am

      Bacteria forms under those 😷 vote no and save the the children.mental abuse when wearing masks.COVID vaccine is poison ☠️.Your fear is dangerous

  5. Anonymous flagler teacher

    August 23, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    It’s easy to say No when you aren’t in the classroom. You don’t see how much it is needed. Parents send kids in with covid and no mask. Today alone I sent 3 kids home coughing with fevers. It’s not flu season. If even one child dies you will have to live with your selfishness. Kids were fine all last year with masks. Number of covid in district for year was about 550. In 10 days we are at 325. Hope it’s worth it.

  6. Robert Fey

    August 23, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    I support Parents choice

  7. Joey Callo

    August 24, 2021 at 9:16 am

    Yes on mask mandate. The vast majority of parents are unqualified to make this decision. They don’t have any education or training concerning covid. Most develop their opinions from unreliable sources. (Fox news/facebook). The way they acted in the recent school board meeting, they’re not qualified to have children at all. PLEASE, homeschool your offspring.

  8. Jeff Nay

    August 24, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    As long as we still live in America, we are all Free to make our own choices. Despite what anyone else thinks.

    If you do not want to live in a Free country, where no one can be mandated to do anything, against their Free will. PLEASE, feel Free to move to another country. I hear China is nice this time of year.

    • TR

      August 24, 2021 at 9:46 pm

      Jeff, I agree with you 100%

    • The dude

      August 30, 2021 at 11:40 am

      Really?
      I’m thinking about taking up smoking in public restaurants… because… FREEDUMB!!!

      • TR

        August 30, 2021 at 5:35 pm

        Let me know how that works out for you. LOL DA**

  9. Dennis

    August 24, 2021 at 7:25 pm

    What is going on in Flagler Schools is in direct opposition to legislation Governor DeSantis signed giving parents the exclusive right to determine wearing or not wearing a mask is appropriate. I can’t help but think this all stems from the director of Flagler County Department of health Bob Schneider who we all know is beyond his capabilities in that position, in addition to being a Social Justice Worrier for the stupid and uninformed in this county. Anyone attempting to implement a personal agenda while in the performance of his duties as a County official needs to be fired. This is precisely what needs to be done with Mr. Schneider. Who does he think he is and what authority has granted this idiot the power to supersede the authority of our duly elected Governor. This man is a tyrant, needs to be removed from his position, and arrested.

    Another issue that is of concern is the deputy sheriffs of Flagler County who appear to be woefully under educated when it concerns the citizens Constitutional rights. This was clearly exemplified by the deputies following an illegal order by the school board attorney to have the deputies clear the room, which they blindly acquiesced to imposing. It was not until citizens educated the uninformed deputies of both their US Constitutional rights along with Florida constitution and sunshine laws that they began to realize they (deputies) were in the wrong. Further, upon arrival of the shift commander the deputies were made aware of their mistake and were ordered to stand down and allow the citizens to re-enter the meeting room.
    Given this injustice by our local deputy sheriffs in am calling on Sheriff Rick Stanley to get his men on both Federal and State Constitutional law before we have another incident of this type. If Sheriff Stanley is at a loss as to how his men need to be educated I suggest the he reach out to Sheriff Mack at this link, they will be more than happy to properly educate his deputies. If not there are also the consequences of elections of the present Sheriff fails to acquiesced to demands for Constitutional law enforcement policy!
    Link provided: https://cspoa.org/

    As for the parents who are fear driven by false propaganda, and wish to engage in abuse of their children, let me suggest that if you are so afraid of the boogie man covid, why don’t you pull your children from the school system and home school them instead of disrupting the lives who are more intelligent, and better informed as to what this “so-called virus” is about. Some of us have taken the time to actually research the effectiveness of a mask in preventing contracting a virus. To those who think I’m wrong, I invite you to stop by Home Depot or Lowe’s and read what is written on every box of N95 masks!

  10. PM

    August 25, 2021 at 9:08 am

    This is a PUBLIC health emergency, not a matter of personal choice.

    • TR

      August 25, 2021 at 1:04 pm

      Maybe to a point, But as to an individual taking any kind of medication, it is their choice and not the Governments to force someone to take a medicine that hasn’t been proven to work properly. With all the people getting the shot(s) they are still getting sick with Covid and some still dying. Not to mention they rushed these shots without solid proof that they work. IMO, the side effects of these shots in some cases are far worse that getting Covid in the first place. Not to mention the side effects can be longer lasting if not permanent or death.

  11. Jeff Nay

    August 25, 2021 at 7:25 pm

    If the PCR test worked, there would have never been such a GROSS Over exaggeration of this virus.
    If Masked worked, there would be no need for a vaccine
    If the vaccine worked there would be no need for a booster

    As long as our minds still work, we can and will continue to make our own decisions.

    Anyone telling you that you cannot make you own decisions is out of their mind.

  12. Renee

    August 25, 2021 at 9:18 pm

    def yes on mask mandate..it will not prevent it but it will help slow it down! To many students and faculty being infected everyday! We are struggling to make these schools run with all the absentees due to infection!! Anyone who does not want the mandate can you please come and volunteer at the schools than and help us since your not afraid of the virus!

  13. Adrienne Rushin

    August 27, 2021 at 10:26 am

    I want everyone to be safe, but I have a special needs son, and for to have to wear a mask all day is very hard for him. I do send him to school with a mask, but I do think that there should be break times wear mask can be taken off.

  14. The dude

    August 30, 2021 at 11:45 am

    5 days at Old King’s Elementary = a positive Covid test for my 5th grader.

    Thankfully it was a very mild case, and my wife and I are vaccinated so we had no symptoms at all.

    So after a 10 day self quarantine we are back to our “normal” lives, which include wearing masks out in public.

    We don’t do this to protect ourselves, we do this to protect all the freedumb lovers, and normals out there that we are sure to encounter as we’re out and about.

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