Florida parents accuse teachers for forcing disabled student with Down syndrome to wear face mask by tying it to her head for nearly two months

Several GOP-led states confronted the White House and CDC guidelines and recommendations over wearing masks in schools with enforcing state laws banning mask mandates. Many health officials claim these laws were one of the reasons why states like Texas and Florida were seeing record numbers of cases in students especially with the most recent Delta wave.

The mask mandates in schools caused a lot of problems for teachers, school districts and pro-mask-mandate oriented parents. However, what all mask mandates in every single school across the country have in common is the medical exemption for some students that are simply not allowed to wear mask because wearing mask affects their health.

But it looks like one Florida school, on purpose or not, decided not to follow those recommendations when they forced a little girl with Down syndrome to wear face mask while at school as the teachers were tying it to her head for about six weeks.

  1. Steele’s daughter, Sofia, 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.

Many schools in Florida decided to implement mask mandates despite the state’s law banning such decision and Sofia’s school is one of those. But since Sofia has an individual education plan, teachers are supposed to inform her parents for every single change in her plan and that especially applies for changes like the obligatory wearing mask in class.

What comes as even more concerning fact is the thing that the little girl breathes through her mouth and cannot speak, so wearing a mask is dangerous for her health in more ways than one and wearing mask can easily become fatal. Luckily, nothing happened to her during the six-week-long period, her parents confirmed.

The father waited for several days until he decided to go to the Ocean Breeze Elementary School in Indian Harbour Beach seeking answers. He had a meeting with the school personnel where they admitted 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 school personnel allegedly knew very well what they are doing. The parents additionally accused the school employees involved in the incident that they have been removing their daughter’s mask before she was entering the school bus since she showed up with the mask for the first time on October 7th. “I was just flabbergasted,” Steele said.

Sofia’s parents now recall they have seen some negative changes in her recent behavior and they even contacted the school in an effort to work together to find out what is going on, but they still didn’t know that she has been wearing face mask for all that time.

DeSantis and Republican Florida Rep. Randy Fine highlighted Sofia’s story last 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.

Fine said that he was “sick” when he heard Steele’s story about his daughter.

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