Orlando, FL — A Florida father is upset with the treatment his 7-year-old daughter with Down syndrome has faced at school with extreme measures taken to enforce a face mask, but the district seems more concerned with being called out on its authoritarian measures.
Jeff Steel, the father of Sophia, spoke to a Fox-affiliate in Orlando and said staff at Ocean Breeze Elementary School forcefully tied on tightly a mask on his daughter. Because of his daughter’s special needs status, Steel thought his daughter was exempt from wearing a mask at all.
“Medically, she could aspirate,” Steel said. “She could asphyxiate all sorts of medical things that could happen and because of her breathing because of her enlarged tongue could cause seizures.”
Steel asked: “Why in the world, since the mandate happened back in September and you were going to begin to put this on my child then tie it on my child, would you never pick up the phone and call me and ask me to give me my informed consent?”
A state representative called out the school district, Brevard Public Schools, saying “there’s a special place in Hell for people who did this to that man’s daughter.”
Instead of apologizing to the Steel’s and demanding accountability from the district, which is the board’s job, board member Jennifer Jenkins was offended for being called out. She said: “To watch a state rep say there’s a special place in Hell for me on television is disturbing.”
The board’s chair, Misty Belford, went on to commend the mask mandate which led to such draconian actions.
“This is exactly how the temporary mask mandate was supposed to be used. The goal was to protect the health of our students and staff. Thank you to all our families and staff for working together to dramatically reduce the number of COVID cases,” Belford said.
This is just one of several stories of extreme mask measures at government-run schools as parents in Colorado and Nevada are saying children are having their masks taped to their faces.
The Daily Mail reported on Chinook Trail Middle School in Colorado Springs where mother Stephanie Butler learned her 11-year-old daughter was forced to have her mask taped through a selfie sent to her by her daughter. Butler went to social media to see if this was happening to others, and her fears were confirmed that indeed this was happening.
One of those confirmed it was mother Tori Skeldrum who asked her daughter about it.
“She said they get two warnings to put a mask over their nose and then, if they have to tell them again, is when they get it taped. So, it is a type of punishment for the mask falling down,” Skeldrum said.
Skeldrum said teachers are using tape as a scare tactic. She said the most disturbing thing is masking is becoming normalized as her daughter likes wearing the mask.
“It’s developing some sort of mentality in our children where that kind of restraint over your face,” Skeldrum said. “Your face is you, that is how people know you, they are just doubling down on hiding you and not letting you breathe and it just it’s conformity to the extreme.”
In Nevada, a mother spoke to a Fox-affiliate in Nevada as the same scenario took place at Reedom Elementary School in the Clark County School District. The mom spoke anonymously over fears of retribution on her and her 9-year-old son who had his masked taped by a substitute teacher.
“I was furious, furious. I was scared for my son on what kind of long-term effect it is going to have on him socially, the fact that the entire class was laughing,” the mom said. “He went to get a sip of water, forgot to put the mask on. The teacher did not tell him to put it back on or send him to the office, she instead pulled him up in front of the classroom in front of all of the students and she then taped the mask across the top of his face.”
The mom added: “He was very upset. He was crying. He was humiliated …. It’s crazy. Corporal punishment in schools should not be happening.”
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