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Florida second grader faces suspension for noncompliance with face mask mandate 


A Florida second grader who was repeatedly suspended and disciplined for refusing to comply with the district’s face mask mandate may be forced to repeat the school year due to her ‘excessive absences’.

Bailey Lashells fears her daughter Fiona may be held back despite her academic success after she missed 36 days of school due to suspensions for refusing to wear a face mask.

But she is proud of the eight-year-old who she says is on ‘a mission to take back’ her ‘constitutional rights from the tyrant school board’ at Palm Beach County school.

‘Fiona has changed her priorities a bit and is on a mission to take back, not only her rights, but every American child’s constitutional rights from the tyrant school board being operated by a financial expert who has no knowledge of how to safely and effectively run the 10th largest school district in America,’ Lashells wrote on the StandUpForFiona website. 

Fiona has made several videos telling her school board why she doesn’t want to wear a face covering.

She incorrectly believes ‘wearing a mask at school… can make you sick.’

‘When you touch the mask to put it on you, your hands – they can have hundreds of bacteria on your hands. Then when you take the filter and put it inside your mask and then you also touch it. Then you put on your mask and then you breathe in all that bacteria and get sick.’  

A Florida second grader named Fiona (pictured) was suspended and faces disciplinary action after failing to comply with the district’s face mask mandate

Her mother, Bailey Lashells (right), says Fiona (left) is likely going to have to repeat the school year after she took a stand against her school's mask policy

Her mother, Bailey Lashells (right), says Fiona (left) is likely going to have to repeat the school year after she took a stand against her school’s mask policy

Fiona was first disciplined on August 31 over her refusal to wear a mask. She was ordered to have a silent lunch in an office hallway.

Since then she was faced with 15 other disciplinary actions including in-school and out-of-school suspensions.

Lashells also received a letter indicating second-degree misdemeanor charges over Fiona’s ‘excessive absences.’

The mother is now concerned about her daughter’s academic success, claiming that there appears to be no way for her to pass even though she has completed her classwork.

‘The blows just seem to not stop as she was recently told after completing every assignment her teacher will provide that she is not only failing 2nd grade but that there is no way she could catch up, per her teacher,’ Lashells explained. 

Fiona has been disciplined more than 16 times and missed over 36 days of school

Fiona has been disciplined more than 16 times and missed over 36 days of school

The Palm Beach County School District (pictured) has implemented school-wide mask mandates despite Governor Ron DeSantis issuing an executive order barring them

The Palm Beach County School District (pictured) has implemented school-wide mask mandates despite Governor Ron DeSantis issuing an executive order barring them

Disciplinary actions issued against Fiona thus far

August 31: Silent lunch

September 1: ‘Temporary removal’ from classroom. (AKA Segregation until a. compliance is met or b. end of school day) Fiona chose option B

September 2: In-School Suspension

September 3: One day out of school suspension

September 8: Two day out of school suspension

September 13: Three day out of school suspension

September 17: Second three day out of school suspension

September 24: Third three day out of school suspension

September 29: Fourth three day out of school suspension

September 29: Family receives second-degree misdemeanor letter over Fiona’s excessive absences

October 4: Fifth three day out of school suspension

October 7: Sixth three day out of school suspension

October 12: Seventh three day out of school suspension

October 18: Eighth three day out of school suspension

October 21: Ninth three day out of school suspension

October 26: Tenth three day out of school suspension

October 29: Eleventh three day out of school suspension

Fiona is reportedly not only meeting all grade level requirements in mathematics, but also completing fourth grade level assignments at 100 percent mastery. 

Neither Lashells nor the Palm Beach County School District immediately responded to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.

Masks in schools have been a hotbed topic in Florida.

Governor Ron DeSantis in July issued an executive order barring school mask mandates, but in practice, at least eight counties representing more than half of Florida’s public school students have defied him, requiring kids to wear masks to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The governor’s press secretary, Christina Pushaw, issued a statement to Fox News regarding Fiona’s situation: ‘There is no scientific basis for forced-masking kids in school, and the decision should always be up to the parents.

‘While parents have a crucial role in kids’ education, school board members, educators, and school staff should likewise be dedicated to helping students succeed.

‘Anyone who denies a young child the right to go to school, for non-compliance with an illegal mask mandate, does not care about education and certainly does not care about kids.’

Meanwhile, Florida’s surgeon general Dr. Joseph Ladapo told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson last week that there’s ‘no evidence’ school mask mandates protect kids from coronavirus.

‘When you look at the evidence for mask mandates in schools it’s actually very weak. The highest quality evidence we have, in fact, for masks…(is) that there’s really no evidence of a health benefit as an improvement in a child’s health outcome,’ he said.

‘And there’s not even any solid evidence for cloth masks.’

Although he failed to cite specific studies that were conducted or exact figures, Ladapo said: ‘We haven’t asked enough about the high-quality data and it just doesn’t support it’.

‘Americans have unfortunately been just slammed constantly with this message that you must mask these children,’ he added.

Just two months ago, Florida was experiencing the worst COVID-19 surge in the United States. Now, the COVID crisis looks really different in Florida.

Inexplicably, cases and deaths have been going down despite DeSantis implementing no new mitigation measures.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show Florida is recording one of the best case and death rates in the country. 

FLORIDA CASES: During the peak of the recent COVID-19 surge in Florida, the state was recording 101 cases per 100,000, which has since declined to nine new cases per 100,000

FLORIDA CASES: During the peak of the recent COVID-19 surge in Florida, the state was recording 101 cases per 100,000, which has since declined to nine new cases per 100,000

FLORIDA DEATHS: Florida was recording 1.77 new deaths per 100,000 people during the peak of the surge, which has since fallen to fewer than 0.01 deaths per 100,000

FLORIDA DEATHS: Florida was recording 1.77 new deaths per 100,000 people during the peak of the surge, which has since fallen to fewer than 0.01 deaths per 100,000

Experts have suggested the declines seem to follow a familiar two-month cycle since the pandemic began with cases and deaths increasing for about two months before dropping, which as been seen in other states that experienced surges over the summer such as Alabama, Louisiana and Texas

Experts have suggested the declines seem to follow a familiar two-month cycle since the pandemic began with cases and deaths increasing for about two months before dropping, which as been seen in other states that experienced surges over the summer such as Alabama, Louisiana and Texas

This is similar to what’s been seen nationwide as COVID-related infections and fatalities in the U.S. drop to the lowest levels recorded since April 2021.

Additionally, the state is doing just as well as California, despite the West Coast State taking a very strict approach including implementing mask mandates, limiting gatherings and closings bars and indoor dining at restaurants.

Experts say COVID waves usually occur in a two-month cycle – with infections rising for two months before declining – and instead of trying to prevent the cycle from occurring, DeSantis just let it ride out.

The declining rates could change as Floridians head inside for the winter months, potentially causing cases to rise again, but, as of now, it seems like Florida’s downward trends will only continue. 



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