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9th-grader scrambling for options after being told not to return to GHS

Elliott Waterbury

BY HEATHER HANNAFORD

Elliott Waterbury, a 9th grader at Gainesville High School, says he’s had enough of wearing masks and has decided to take a stand. Elliott says that after wearing masks for an entire school year and watching cases of COVID-19 rise and fall despite these measures, he was relieved that Governor DeSantis had signed the Parents Bill of Rights and looked forward to ditching the mask. But the Alachua County School Board refuses to recognize this law, as implemented in Florida Department of Health Emergency Rule 64-DER21-12, Protocols for Controlling COVID-19 in School Settings.

Elliott’s mother had signed a parental opt-out form before the School Board put in the requirement on August 6 that exemptions had to be signed by a medical professional. After complying with the rule for the first two weeks of school, Elliott, feeling caught between the State and the School Board, decided to take a stand and began refusing to wear a mask on the premise that Alachua County was breaking State law. That is when the trouble began.

Elliott made it through his first two periods on Monday with little to no push back from teachers. In his second period class, nothing was said, and several other students also chose not to wear masks. When Elliott got to his third period class, the teacher took Elliott aside and told him to put on a mask or go directly to the principal. Elliott chose to go to the principal. When Elliott met with Principal Diane Leinenbach, he told her that he thought Gainesville High was breaking State law. According to Elliott, Leinenbach’s response was, “We do not follow DeSantis’ rulings; we follow Alachua County’s rulings.” Leinenbach told Elliott that he could put on a mask or leave school. Elliott chose to leave.

Elliott’s mother, Christy Waterbury, was called to school to pick up Elliott and address the situation. She stands behind Elliott’s choice to refuse to mask but did ask the school if there were accommodations because of the opt-out rule. The school told her that they could apply for a Hope Scholarship and go to a private school, however, there are no more spots available in local private schools. Christy contacted Florida Virtual School as well, but they are not taking new applicants until November. The school also suggested that Christy could send Elliott to Marion County on a Hope Scholarship. Christy said that’s not an option for her family because she has to make sure her other children get to school and that she gets to work. Marion County is simply too far to drive to get Elliott to and from school every day. In an email, the school told Christy that the Hope Scholarship could pay for transportation, but she said that when looking into it, she did not find that option.

The school told Elliott that if he refused to wear a mask, he would get a referral that will follow him throughout his school career, and he would not be allowed back until he complies. When Christy sent an email asking if Elliott could stay online until they figure out a viable option for him, his teacher locked his access to Canvas within the hour. They are currently discussing the possibility of eSchool through Alachua County with Gainesville High, but the response has been slow, and in the meantime, Elliott is not attending any classes. 

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This situation has been weighing heavily on Elliott and his mom. When they contacted Elliott’s pediatrician at UF Health for advice, the office expressly told them that they will not sign any mask exemptions for neurotypical children. Christy says that she understands the mandate but wishes for a viable educational option for families who wish to opt out of masking. The Alachua County School Board has stated that they are in compliance with the law because they allow Hope Scholarships as an option, but Christy feels if there is nowhere to go, that is not a viable option. And students like Elliott are forced to either go against their conscience, and State law, or compromise their education.

Christy and Elliott Waterbury are waiting to hear from the administration and continue to search for options that will allow Elliott to continue his education.  

    • Hey Harold, Want to buy some beautiful oceanfront property from me in Alachua County? You have also inherited $1,000,000 – just give me your banking information and I will deposit the money.

      • Yeah. And people who took the clot shot are really dying.
        Do you think VAERS data is reliable?

        • Do you have numbers, names and information on the people that have died after taking the shot or is this just hearsay?? Not doubting your word, just want some solid numbers.

          • Just read: Since December 2020 through July 19 of 2021 there’s has been reported 6207 deaths associated with the vaccine

    • Absolutely not true! Asymptotic people spread the virus just as much. Check your facts and use the common sense You were given. That’s like saying I can’t pass the flu if I’m Asymptotic. WRONG!

      • Less than 400 people under the age of 18 have died of Covid in the entire country since the start of the pandemic. Who cares if they can spread a virus that is not statistically dangerous to them. If they spread it to adults, that is the adult’s problem for not getting vaccinated.

        • So what you are saying is that the adults do not matter? The ones teaching your children are not worth enough to help protect them. Yes some of those that take pride in educating your children do have compromised immune systems. But with the way this world is going there are too many for thwmselves and not enough for others. I see the Bible thrown around on this thread but then reading only a bit of the Bible and picking up on what you want is not what God ever intended. This is what too many do. But then again I guess taking classes in discipleship, and the old and New Testament surveys, as well as many other classes on and about the Bible would teach that or I haven’t learned anything. Yes a mob chose to set a criminal free, and take Jesus to bear that cross… but do you not know it was all of Gods plan, and that Jesus had warned of what was going to happen. Why? Because we needed saving, saving from this very thing of hatred for others because you don’t agree with a belief. God gave all authority over to Jesus, and therefore who shall we stand before in death?

        • So it’s my fault that I have an allergy to sodium phosphate and sodium acetate.? Do you know that those are ingredients used in the vaccines? So guess what I’m not the only one. The other thing the vaccines don’t seem to be working as well since there are so many breakthrough cases. My aunt works her butt off in healthcare fully vaccinated and guess what, she is sick with this variant.

          • I got sick with the variant I’m also vaccinated but the vaccine still helped! I did not get bad symptoms didn’t end up in the hospital I’m still alive and I don’t have a million hospital bill! The vaccine does work. There are people on their death bed wishing they were vaccinated.

  • Good for ACPS! He’s fighting so hard against doing the right thing. I hope the road gets more complicated for him, the more he fights. If he doesn’t wear a mask, he can’t go to school, period.

    • I would like to hear how my son standing up for his freedoms is going against doing the right thing! How is teaching our children that it is ok to break laws and encroach on others rights, “doing the RIGHT thing”? If you want to wear a mask, do it. Do what you believe is right FOR YOU. Why shouldn’t we have that same right? What makes your rights and choices more important than mine? Entitlement is an unnecessary trait in situations in which our children are at risk of long term harm. Enough is enough! If I made my child wear a muzzle every day, you would call that child abuse so what gives you the right to muzzle my children with face diapers.

      • You can enroll him in homeschool through alachua county and do Florida virtual flex. You can talk to the guidance counselor at his school about flex. It’s basically the same thing as Florida virtual. We missed the sign up dates for Florida virtual full time. and signed my son up for flex. Make sure u sign him up for the same classes he is taking in public school right now. And if he is still doing Florida virtual by next year you can then go full time and won’t need the homeschool people. Which they really don’t help u just have to sign a paper and do ffa and all that testing at the home school office

        • Thank you. Any direction at all is helpful as we are navigating in uncharted territory for our family. Doing the right thing is also the most difficult.

          • Your Welcome. My son was in middle school and it wasn’t for him. Pulled him out mid year. That’s how I know about flex when you go on Florida virtual click on flex and it will walk you thru everything u need to do to sign up. The cool part of flvs he will have teachers in every class online.

            If u need anymore help my info
            latersbaby26@yahoo.com

            Contact info for home school
            352-955-7617
            Homeschool Office
            620 E. University Ave
            Gainesville, Florida 32601

      • I think it needs to be acknowledged so that everyone reading the story gets the clearer picture. My family did reach out to our pediatrician because my student does have a physical and emotional reason for wanting the exemption to the masks. We were told by our Pediatrician who is at the mercy of the UF medical overlord that they do not sign the exemptions. She called me at home to advise that they are only allowing the exemptions for children with autism and only with the statement that the exemption is temporary and that the student is REQUIRED to go to physical therapy to “learn” how to wear the mask. We even made a second appointment request and the day of the appointment we were notified by email that they just arbitrarily canceled it stating only that they do not sign exemptions. This goes beyond only our school board taking over what is best for our kids….if health has also said that parents have no rights to decide medically what we want for our children.

        • I would recommend you look at the video of the State Board of Education Emergency Meeting on 8/17/21(found at thefloridachannel.org: https://thefloridachannel.org/videos/8-17-21-state-board-of-education-emergency-conference-call/). The board asks Simon several questions about the mask mandate.
          At 33:15 the board chair (Tom Grady) asks Simon:
          “Do you expect that your kids in Alachua County are taught to follow the rules?”
          Her reply:
          “I expect that our kids are taught to understated rules and all so exam rules and determine how they navigate the rules that they exist in”
          Chair:
          “Ok i will take that answer as kids don’t have to follow the rules they can independently determine the rules they have to follow”
          Simon: (over speaking)
          “I don’t think that that is not what I said. ”
          Chair:
          “Ok can you answer my question?”
          Simon:
          “Well, we teach critical thinking in our district. We focus on whether rules are going to be beneficial and we have a rule…(talks about a dress code issue students have a problem with). I am proud of my students for bringing this to my attention and not just going along to get along”
          Chair:
          “And there is a process for changing that rule as opposed to one day unilaterally deciding that the child would violate that rule, isn’t that right?”
          Simon:
          “There are processes to modify the policy, there are also times when they must be brought to the attention in different ways”

          I think this would be a good example to use to validate your son’s actions.

          I could not find an official transcript, so I used the video from the Florida Channel the best I could in a rush. Please check the video for a more accurate take.

      • Hi Christy. My 17 yr son hates pants and underwear – so uncomfortable! I even got a quack doctor to sign a medical exemption. Yet the principal called me to pick him up after I dropped him off at school naked. I think that is totally against his rights and freedoms!

        • Mark. You’re an idiot. We have the inalienable right to Breathe freely…clothing is a social norm
          And not a good anology.

          • Exactly my point Christy and Bullwinkle!! I agree everyone has the right to breathe freely – ie free from as much virus as possible. But your freedom should not interfere with my freedom. You don’t have the right to breathe a virus on me!! Masks aren’t perfect, vaccines aren’t perfect, washing hands frequently is not perfect, and socially distancing is not perfect – but combined they help reduce the spread of Covid. Going to school naked is not going to spread and not going to kill anyone hence me using it as an obviously stupid analogy!

      • We are in a pandemic that seems to have gotten worse for our state. The thing is if you look up federal laws regarding times of pandemic, the Government could have done more that you people would have fought against, but be lucky it’s just a damn mask. You still have a choice in vaccine, and there still will always have to be exemptions for that as well such as my allergy to sodium acetate and sodium phosphate. So it’s documented by my doctor and therefore an exemption, but don’t mind wearing my mask.

      • I’m in full support of you and your son Christy and it’s refreshing to find young people strong enough to stand up for what they believe in! Have you tried countryside Christian school?

        • So it’s funny I was listening to this news post about the judges ruling and somebody correct me if I’m wrong did he not say the school board with the parental opt out so I did opt out and my son got kicked out somebody make that make sense

    • The last I checked, people do have immune systems. Why not use them and stop the spread of disease. That’s what we do with colds and flu. Does this family not have the freedom to choose what is best for them? Why has this right been taken away? Maybe it would do you good to read Psalms 91 and pray.

      • Wow Dianne – Because it is obvious praying and our immune systems aren’t working! Florida deaths in 2021 due to common cold – 0, flu – 2700, cover-19 – 43,600. Everyone has the freedom to choose what is best for them as long as it doesn’t interfere with the freedom of others. Kinda why we have speed limits on the roads.

        • Why can’t kids who want to wear masks wear KN-95s which will protect them and then it doesn’t matter what the other kids do. Less than 400 people under 18 have died in the US from Covid out of a population of 72 million. It is not statistically dangerous to young people. Kids who want to be at risk can be at risk and kids who want to be protected can wear a mask designed to protect themselves like a KN-95.

      • Amen and Amen.
        No shot, no mask and I breathe deeply when shopping. 73 & healthy, trusting the wonderful immune system God blessed me with – not afraid. Be strong.

      • Dianne….you’re the best! It’s the mob…and the mob
        Did what to Jesus? I love you. God bless you!
        ❤️😃 you are 100% correct!

    • No Bruce..you helicopter parents need to keep your
      Commie brats at home with masks on…they are going
      To grow up nuttier than you! You commies will lose.
      Freedom will win. This ain’t CCP! God bless America & the US constitution!

    • So you are wishing ill will upon a child? You’re a bully, just like that teacher from GHS who DGAF, segregates his students, and still maintains his job.

    • I was told by the Democratic Party that protesting is patriotic. He is protesting.

    • You’re ignorant. Probably follow political science, instead of science. His body his choice

      • My body my choice?! Sad to say that isn’t the case because your spray from a sneeze or cough would be sprayed upon another, that person that receives unwanted particles from you because “your body your choice” not to wear a mask, the other person didn’t have the choice to not receive your illness, or germs from said sneeze. Mind you it’s not just about breathing it in, as with medical staff handling their clothing after getting off work is something that can transfer germs to another resulting in the illness, if handled incorrectly. A mask is a minor part of keeping others safe. But our nation has become so narcissistic that thinking of others is out of the question.

  • New study says surgical and cloth face masks are useless. Useless. Useless. Get that county commissioners? Useless, like you! N95 works a bit, but with reduced airflow, lower oxygen and higher carbon dioxide have to be considered since this lowers immunity. Study finds that good building ventilation just as good as N95 masks. Good building ventilation in Alachua County? Most of them are mold infested hell holes. Here’s the new study out of Canada that says typical masks are pretty much worthless.https://aip.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1063/5.0057100
    Why are kids being tortured in Alachua County? Because the place is run by useless, bed-wetting, pissant, gutless, hysterical communist psychos.

  • FAILURE TO PROVIDE INFORMED CONSENT FOR MASK MANDATES is a VIOLATION OF the NUREMBERG CODE…. Despite their external appearance, masks actually function as an invasive medical device with potentially negative consequences to the personal health of the wearer. Masks are designed to alter the flow of environmental air, carbon dioxide, oxygen and biological content entering and exiting the lungs and nasal passages. School boards who impose mask “mandates” are engaging in unlicensed medical practice where informed consent and a list of potential benefits and side-effects are denied. “Informed consent” is a keystone issue of the Nuremberg code for which the Alachua County School Board is in violation https://justpaste.it/2vwtd

    • The Nuremberg Code has not been officially accepted as law by any nation or as official ethics guidelines by any association. It is thus as Experimental as the Covid vaccines or the Regeneron treatment. Nice try, but once again you are wrong. Your quotations of junk internet science is staggering. Your spam links look like they were written by The Onion.

      • Wrong again…I am right when I say you are a progressive commie control freak…only losers believe in giving up freedom for safety.

        • I hope you don’t drive Mr. Blonde. There are a whole bunch of commie control freak laws preventing me from driving however I feel out on public roads!

          • Go drive your car with your mask on.
            Driving my car and controlling my breathing
            Are apples and oranges?

          • Driving my car on the road and controlling by
            Breathing are two different things…when it comes to my breathing, I am in control. Not you.

        • Mr. Blonde – Turns out Judge Cooper has ruled that you are wrong, and I am right. Florida Constitution says so. Judge even used a driving example. TGIF! Have a nice weekend

          • And Punctious Pilot did what to who? I am
            In charge of my breathing and god says so…
            You have a great weekend too! Oh, and god
            Has the last word on judgment…boom!

  • Dr. Michael Osterholm recntly appeared on GMA3 to claim the only mask that works is an N95 respirator. So the Alachua County mandate (and Mandates in General) can be claimed to inflict documented side-effects, physical and psychological damage based on peer-reviewed studies, but with no protection against a purported “variant” of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. – https://youtu.be/BkauTt2oSBg?t=166

    • Harold – he claims the most effect masks are N95’s and encouraged everyone to wear one, because now they are readily available. He did not claim to give up completely on all masks. Also the Canadian study also only looked at exhaling and not inhaling so the authors admit there results are limited in scope. You really suck at listening and reading!

      • Mark. The mask is the commie flag. We don’t abide
        By CCP protocol for the fake CCP flu. You hate
        Yourself and want everyone else to be miserable
        Like you..it won’t work and neither will your great reset.

        • Mr. Pink. My mask doesn’t bother me at all. And I am happy and wonderfully sarcastic. You seem to be the one all fired up. Are those 43,600 Floridians faking there own deaths? My great reset? Why would I want that – I was perfectly happy before Covid.

          • You can wear a mask and get clot shot. That’s
            Your choice…don’t force your commie mob control on me.

          • Marky K…Actually, it’s the healthcare industry fabricating the real cause of deaths. Reason – $$$$$.

            Keep believing…

  • Absolutely disgraceful to tell this student to LEAVE school if he doesn’t wear a mask. Disgusting . While Principal Leinenbach probably feels very righteous, she is an arrogant bully.

  • In my opinion, in this situation, the kid should wear a mask and get his education because he will be better off in the long run.

    • I totally agree with Dr. J. This is life, sometimes you have to do things you don’t agree with in order to achieve your goals. Governor Desantis is not perfect and can be wrong. Home schooling is a option.

      • Dr. J is a coward to not express his view on VAERS data. I don’t play Russian roulette with a bullet in
        A semi auto handgun…the masks do nothing to stop
        The invisible enemy or the voices you hear in your head Kathy…are you the one with the rolling eyes in your head?

  • At least it was a peaceful objection and he didn’t light the school on fire and break the windows.

      • Unicorn…good moniker. Especially considering there are so few knuckleheads in existence that would actually draw that conclusion from my comment. You must have been living in your liberal elitists’ la la land last summer. Typical.

        You just keep on believing…

  • Simple nose spray possibly offers hope to end covid nightmare for kids. https://www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/nitric-oxide-nasal-spray-reduces-covid-19-viral-load-95-within-24-hours-study?utm_campaign=&utm_content=Zerohedge%3A+The+Durden+Dispatch&utm_medium=email&utm_source=zh_newsletter

    Also, Dr. Thomas E, Levy wrote and ebook which is free on the internet. The title is Rapid Virus Recovery. The doctor claims that using nebulized hydrogen peroxide he has been curing or preventing COVID with almost 100% success.

    • This I could see as a huge potential, and a great way to keep kids safe in school minus a mask.

  • To those simple minded fools (Bruce Hannock) that say good on ACPS, I welcome you to explain your statement of how we are supposedly fighting “doing the right thing” How is defying our Governor and teaching our children that it is ok to break laws actually doing the right thing? If you are worried than you do what you think is right for you. Why do you have the freedom to do what you think is right but we don’t? What makes you more “special” aka ENTITLED

  • I guess those who say it’s breaking the state law to mandate a mask policy never speed, do a California roll , driving while License is suspended or revoked or violate any other “state laws” in your lifetime, huh? Oh wait I guess those state laws are okay to break because it’s convenient and benefits you to do so..

    Very interesting!!

    • If we do so, we do it knowing that there are consequences. So she should acknowledge her defiance and she should accept her consequences. Also when I directly go against what my boss says, it is followed up with some of those same results…. CONSEQUENCES.

    • Nice that you correctly identified the “convenience and benefits” to a person for breaking the law.

      If not obeying the mask mandate isn’t cause for willingly disobeying a rule, I don’t know what is. It’s definitely more convenient than wearing one. It’s even more beneficial to breathe fresh air than the air going through a subpar filtration system.

      By the way, IF masks work so effectively AND they have been mandated in Alachua County schools, WHY are case numbers going up?

      While some are still believing…many are still waiting for an answer to that question.

  • I applaud Elliott 💯 and not giving in to what the school board tells him to do!

  • I hate masks. Can’t wear them. The air is too hot.
    My glasses fog. I have freedom to breath guaranteed by god & the US constitution…if you commies don’t like it, then move to China. The mask is a political statement ..it’s
    The commie flag. —That’s one brave kid! Get up, stand up! Stand up for your rights!!! Don’t give up the fight!!
    Gif bless America!

    • You need a different god. My friend Jesus said “Love your neighbor, don’t kill him by infecting him with a preventable disease.”

      • Get thee behind me Satan…Jesus would not wear a mask, Jesus would not take a clot shot…

  • All you parents that don’t like masking your kids…
    Protest city hall to hippodrome. Start go fund me.
    No shots no masks..GNV Freedomfest 2021.

  • I am literally sitting here rolling my eyes. This isn’t about freedom. It’s about a spoiled brat not getting his way and making a scene. Long before this pandemic there were jobs requiring their employees to wear masks (ie OR nurses) and it was for the protection of the customer and themselves. This isn’t a question of human rights but rather learning responsibility as a young adult.

    • 2 words: control freak. Is VAERS data reliable?
      Go ahead and roll your eyes like someone possessed.

      • Marky & Lizzie…Is that the same argument you would use for the so-called “peaceful” protests that burnt and looted businesses last year?

        You are definitely out of touch with the basic moralities of right and wrong.

        Kudos to you, you’re still dumb enough to still believe…

  • Why not post a photo of the actual Gainesville kid? Fox is going to be unhappy with you posting that picture of Bobby Hill.

    • Just saying: ad hominem attack just show your ignorance.. good triumphs over evil…

  • What are five years old? Can you please go get your
    Mommy honey…this is really a forum for adults.
    Why attack my sons appearance as a defense?

    • We love you Christy and your son. God bless you and
      Your family…you are not alone! God bless America!

  • The school told Elliott that if he refused to wear a mask, he would get a referral that will follow him throughout his school career…”

    A “referral”? So, what’s the problem? It’s good to have letters of reference – for college or jobs, etc.

    • I am almost decided not to waste my time in responding to this but I cannot just pass over such an absolutely unnecessary and ignorant comment.

      This a serious topic to me and my family so with all due respect to those out there that don’t anything worth hearing to say- please keep your absurd comments to your self. Open mic night at the midnight underground is Tuesday at 9 pm, maybe they would find you funny!

  • Everyone who wants to their kid to wear a mask, do the homeschool internet thing. Those who don’t want masks, you get in-person teaching…to all you parents that force that mask on your kids: they are going to have psychogenic
    Problems and will need Ritalin or Prozac the rest of
    Their lives…your commie control and fear pushing will
    Not win..get a life! Ask Jesus & god for forgiveness because “you know not what you do”… hey, teachers!
    Leave them kids alone!

    • Wow so my kid has ADHD because of a mask he had never worn until his little brother was in the NICU, because he was born 11 weeks early due to a medical emergency. And then three months later guess what COVID and masking. But yet he had ADHD three years prior. Oops you make not one ounce of sense. Oh and yes he is home schooled as well. Has been for the last 4 years due to the flexibility because his dad brings necessary items to be delivered. So that man is gone 2 to 4 weeks at a time and we wanted to have the freedom to take a day off and not get behind.

  • TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — A Florida Circuit Court judge has overturned Gov. Ron DeSantis’ mask mandate ban for Florida schools

  • Leon County Circuit Judge John C. Cooper on Friday agreed with a group of parents who claimed in a lawsuit that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban on the mandates is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced

    • No. Good will prevail over evil… I have yet begun to fight! It’s David & Goliath…the collective mob vs. the
      Individual….—in the story, David beats Goliath…
      There are places for those who don’t believe in Jesus
      & god…. I will not sell my soul to the devil or take
      His mark. Read Revelations..

  • Homeschool would appear to be a viable option here. The choice has been made to extract themselves.

  • I don’t get what the issue is here. I keep seeing this post about people spouting their BS-I got COVID I was sick it was bad I’m happy I’m vaccinated you should get vaccinated too! those are your opinions. Nobody’s trying to take that away from you. But that’s also you’re right! So why should I be forced to except and mimic what you believe but I don’t have the same rights? You have the right to feel like it is in the best interest of your children or your family to put a mask on their face or to get them a shot that there’s no guarantee is not gonna have long lasting effects to the negative and that is your right. And equally so I should also have the right to decide that I do not believe that those courses of action are in the best interest of my kids and my family. But that’s not acceptable because that goes against what you believe and therefore you kick and fight and scream about it. So why am I wrong for doing the exact same thing kicking fighting scratching biting for what I believe. Why are we the only ones being put out in the situation if you believe this is such a horrible thing then why don’t you get put out why don’t you stay home why don’t you find a source for your kids to go to school and learn why do my children have to worry so much about ramifications for not doing what you want? I’m not asking that they turn the mandate around and say that everybody can no longer wear a mask all that I’m asking for is the same rights to put no mask on my child and send them to school as you have the right to put one on and send them to school. My children would be absolutely persecuted if one of them stood up in the face of your mask baby and yelled at them and told them what idiots they were for doing it but why are your kids allowed to persecute my children publicly for not putting a mask and for doing what they believe is the right thing. I guess at the end of the day and excuse my words but who the hell do you think you people are making it is though your rights are more important than my rights???

    • Unfortunately that’s what THEY do. It’s all about persecuting people who have different beliefs from them. This hate that has taken over America was propagated when Trump was elected. The majority of liberal America absolutely refused to accept him as president.
      Even today, there are conservatives who refuse to admit Biden was elected. Both were elected! Those individuals who can’t acknowledge it – get over it!
      Is this country really as bad as “woke” liberals claim?

      https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/maher-afghanistan-woke-oppression

      For all of you who think it is, there’s 190+ others to move to. See if that will make you happier.

      If you choose to stay, keep on believing…in this country you’re allowed to do that.

    • Pretty weird to use your kid as a political pawn. Why not just let him get an education?

      • It’s so interesting that you would think to ask such a thoroughly ignorant question. Why would you believe that I used him for anything? I don’t know how it works in your home but in mine, my son has his own brain, feelings, thoughts, concerns and decision making abilities. I don’t think that I am the only parent that considers their children’s opinions on things that not only concern them but most importantly in this instance, are directly effecting them. As for getting his education, I guess you are not up to date on this story but he is getting his education. He is just going to get it knowing that he is doing what he believes and not just blindly following the fear tactic group. You should try listening to your kids about things that matter to them and then support their independent decisions.

        • What is independent minded about a child having the same views as his parents? Would you have helped him to do this same sort of solitary, lonely protest if he were instead supportive of masking? Supporting him to do something you very clearly strongly believe in yourself and then contacting the press about it sure smells like using him as a political pawn.
          You could teach your child that he’s part of a community and that during hard times, sometimes we have to do hard things. We have responsibilities to each other, freedom without responsibility is anarchy.
          Good luck, parenting in a pandemic is hard. But please be aware that this pandemic will end, people won’t be asked to wear masks forever. But real damage might be done by teaching our kids that they are entitled to just do whatever they please, regardless of the harm it might do to others.

          • Your masks do permanent and irreversible damage so no I won’t participate in your brand of bad parenting all in the name of your “should end soon pandemic “ Also in answer to your first statement. Yes I would support his Personal decisions even it was that he wanted to go along with the idea
            that a mask is beneficial. My children are not being raised to be mind numbed zombies blindly following the misinformed people but are in fact raised to weigh the evidence both for and against and then form their own thoughts & views and make a choice based on those feelings. I support my children’s individual opinions as it directly effects them. Why would anyone knowingly choose to teach their children not to have opinions or stand up for what they believe. Would you want my son to make your children not wear the mask when they feel they should? (Or
            Maybe from the sounds of it, they may just be doing it because you are using them as a pawn in your political game) yep sounds just as ignorant when I write that statement as it did when I read what was wrote!! 😳

  • Hi Christy. Read Judge John Cooper’s ruling. Pretty simple language. He uses real world anologies to make his point. I am not being condescending either. I am all for freedom. Your individual freedoms do not get to impact mine, especially in terms of public safety and public health. Based on the best actual science available masks help reduce the spread. (They are by no means perfect). And based on actual science they pose almost no risk. The school board is well within the law to impose a mask mandate. If you do not like the rule, you can take a scholarship and go elsewhere.

    • Let the kids acquire natural immunity that will last a lifetime instead of making them wear ridiculous masks and pumping them full of toxic boosters over and over. I’m not part of Gainesville “so scaaaared of everything!” culture, obviously.

  • Natural immunity that will last a lifetime? Ok if I get chicken pox I still can get them again at an older age. If I get the flu I will get it again. There isn’t a natural immunity to something that continues to mutate. Immunity is made through vaccines. In rare cases with a lesser very weak virus you might not ever get it again but rare. I’m sorry but you might want to do a little more research on what you say. Did you have to be vaccinated as a child? I’m willing to bet the answer is yes. Your children? Unless a religious or allergy to a vaccine I bet yes. This is where you see herd immunity…

    • We are talking about a Coronavirus, which is distinctly different from chickenpox or the flu. People who had SARS still have full, robust natural immunity almost 20 years later. I have done my research. The largely ineffective Covid-19 vaccines do not stop the transmission or the passing on of the virus, therefore they are hardly “making immunity,” even if effective vaccines for other diseases may make that claim.

      • Ummm you are so not correct any cold virus rhinovirus and entero virus are a coronavirus that is correct however my son gets rhinovirus each year… sooo many come down with the common cold which is yes a coronavirus but repeatedly get it yearly as with the flu. Might want to check your facts next time. Oh the reason this happens is called mutation why do you think there is a yearly flu shot. Check your facts before spewing what you haven’t a clue

  • To AP: I am that kid.my mother did not use me for anything. I made the statement to my family that somebody needs to stand up for our rights. So before you judge someone make sure you’re right.

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