According to the father of a disabled child, Florida educators tied a mask to her daughter’s face for 6 weeks without their consent. On Oct. 7, Sofia stepped off of the school bus with a mask, wet from her saliva, tied to her head with a thin, nylon string.
A Florida father is accusing educators at his daughter’s elementary school of forcing his daughter with Down syndrome to wear a mask by tying it to her head for about six weeks.
Jeffery Steele’s daughter, Sofia Steele, is nonverbal and has an enlarged tongue. On Oct. 7, Sofia stepped off of the school bus with a mask, wet from her saliva, tied to her head with a thin, nylon string, Steele told Fox News Digital, but she did not leave for school with a mask on that day or any day prior.
Sofia has an individual education plan (IEP), and educators are supposed to inform parents of any changes made to their children’s IEPs, Steele said.
But the school never informed him or his wife that they were going to require Sofia to wear a mask, and no one asked the parents for their consent in tying it to her face during school.
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Steele emphasized that his daughter breathes through her mouth and cannot speak, so wearing a mask is dangerous for her health in more ways than one.
Ocean Breeze Elementary School in Indian Harbour Beach implemented its own mask mandate in September in defiance of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ efforts to ban schools from requiring children to wear masks.
“The student was given a medical mask exemption as soon as the mother made the request to school leadership,” Brevard Public Schools Chief Strategic Communications Officer Russell Bruhn said in a statement.
“The school district is investigating and is in the process of gathering all the facts. BPS strives to ensure each student has the best educational experience possible and will continue in that effort.”
My wife recognized Sofia’s panic, her face reddened from having her breathing restricted, and comforted Sofia after removing her mask and taking pictures of the rope tied around Sofia’s head to secure a mask to her face totally wet from her saliva.https://t.co/k4YJJ5IfvH pic.twitter.com/t2FTOsU46b— GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) October 25, 2021
Steele went to the school on Oct. 12 with the service officer assigned to the school to demand answers. He waited several days to voice his concerns because he needed to “take some time” to collect himself, he said.
It was at that meeting that school personnel allegedly admitted to Steele that they had been tying Sofia’s mask to her face or holding it in place with hair clips for about six weeks without her parents’ consent.
The father noted that Sofia had never come home with a mask on prior to Oct. 7, so he speculates that school personnel had been taking it off before sending her home on the bus.
“I was just flabbergasted,” Steele said.
The school had previously informed Sofia’s parents that she had been removing her shoes at school. Steele and his wife contacted Ocean Breeze around that time because they “saw big behavior changes in Sofia at home.”
“We wanted to work with the school — we were working with her IEP — because we were getting notes all the time about Sofia’s behavior at school,” Steele said.
“This was concerning to us because we were seeing the same sort of negative behavior at home, and we told them that. We still did not know there was a mask on her face at this time.”
Steele has hired an attorney and is pulling his daughter out of Ocean Breeze.
“We don’t want her to be a spectacle,” the father said. Sofia’s parents have also set up a fundraiser for their daughter on GiveSendGo called “Sofia’s rights.”
According to Sofia’s parents, this is what happened:
“Our daughter Sofia stepped off of the school bus with a mask tied to her face with a nylon rope. Sofia has Down’s Syndrome, and at seven years old, is nonverbal. Due to her condition, her tongue is enlarged. With the mask tied to her face, she was unable to breathe properly and unable to express her distress.
My wife recognized Sofia’s panic, her face reddened from having her breathing restricted, and comforted Sofia after removing her mask and taking pictures of the rope tied around Sofia’s head to secure a mask to her face. The mask was totally wet from her saliva.”
“The school put Sofia’s life at risk. For what? Her teachers and the school principal know about Sofia’s condition, and we sent her to school assured that she would not be masked due to the danger it could pose to her.
After focusing first on Sofia, and taking some time to control our rage and anger at the school and the teachers for having taken such cruel action, we confronted the school principal and the teacher the following week.
At that meeting, they admitted to having tied the mask to Sofia’s face using the nylon rope and admitted that this has been happening without our knowledge since the mask policy was put in place.
The school could not explain what drove them to such madness. Unbelievably, their concern at that meeting seemed to be to keep things quiet.”
“Even more shocking, the school violated the Brevard County School Board’s so-called “Emergency K-12 Face Covering Requirement” by masking Sofia.
The policy says that face coverings shall not be required for children with IEP or 504 plans documenting medical, physical or psychological contraindications. By the plain language of the policy, we trusted that the school would not mask Sofia.
The School District placed Sofia at Ocean Breeze Elementary because of their resources for children like Sofia with special needs. We thought when we put her on the bus each morning that they were looking after her, not abusing her. How wrong we were.”
DeSantis and Republican Florida Rep. Randy Fine highlighted Sofia’s story on Wednesday, and Fine is considering introducing legislation during a special session that would increase penalties for people who force children to wear masks without their parents’ consent.
“This is already criminal. I…plan to introduce legislation to increase the penalty,” Fine told Fox News. “…We’re going to be having a special session in Tallahassee, and I expect that we’ll pass a law in Sofia’s honor that puts people like Brevard Heart school board members who did this to Sofia in prison for a very long time.”
Fine added that he was “sick” when he heard Steele’s story about his daughter.
Recently, an investigation was opened after it was found that masks were being taped to students’ faces forcefully by teachers in schools.
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According to experts, the Australian study which claimed that mandatory masks stopped the second wave of coronavirus is total crap.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, people all across the globe have started using facemasks to prevent the spread of infection from one person to the other.
Also the government and health ministries of several countries are encouraging people to wear facemasks whenever they step outside their home.
But till date the efficacy of the facemasks in controlling the spread is not determined. So how effective are facemasks against COVID?
The pores in these masks are at least 1000 times larger in diameter (55 µm to 440 µm) as compared to the diameter of virus particles (60 nm to 140 nm).
Here you can find a list of over 30 studies showing that face mask are useless against COVID-19.