Girl, 12, talks to Florida official about ‘need’ for face masks

A 12-year-old girl met with a Florida official who is campaigning to run against Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday to tell her there is a need for face mask mandates in schools.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried met with Lila Hartley virtually after the Duval County student sent a letter to school district officials asking them to consider the safety of children who, like her 10-year-old brother, aren’t allowed to get the COVID vaccine.

“I am so worried … I don’t know what I would do if he died … masks save lives that’s a fact … many others would feel so much safer if masks were required,” Lila wrote in her letter.

Lila, who is getting ready to start 7th-grade, cited the recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics to mandate face mask use at schools regardless of vaccination status.

“Masks are important so we can continue to enjoy in-person school and not have to hurt families and staff by this terrible virus,” Lila wrote.

In South Florida, the School Board of Broward County voted in favor of a face mask mandate before Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order to protect “parents’ freedom to choose” on July 30th. The School Board of Miami-Dade County had yet to make a decision Monday.

After her meeting with Lila, Fried celebrated a Leon County victory on Twitter: “Florida’s Capital City and County @LeonSchools just mandated masks grades K-8th grade. Thank you Superintendent Rocky Hanna.”

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