Mask Mandate for Hillsborough County Public Schools

Mask Mandate for Hillsborough County Public Schools

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Rachel Feinman started this petition to Superintendent Addison Davis and

Given the current status of the pandemic in Hillsborough County, we respectfully request a mask mandate for all students, teachers and faculty in Hillsborough Public Schools

We all want the same thing: for our children to be physically present in the environment where they can best learn from their teachers and with their peers. This view is also supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which advocates that “all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.”

We recognize the significant challenges to the District in achieving this goal. Space limitations, transportation logistics, budget constraints and other considerations make many of the suggested risk mitigation strategies cumbersome, costly and often impossible, but even the most arduous challenges can be mitigated by imposing a mask mandate for schools countywide

Such a mandate is not only practical, but it is also feasible. The State has already budgeted for, and is supplying, multiple reusable masks for faculty and students. The City and County also have masks to give to those in need.  Furthermore, the entire County is already under a mask ordinance. Extending this measure to school-attending children is a matter of common sense and should be consistent with behavior that is becoming increasingly routine. Bottom Line: A mask mandate will not present a burden to schools or families. 

When social distancing is not possible, masks offer a crucial means to helping curtail the spread of COVID-19.  But make no mistake, the mask does not protect the wearer.  Rather it protects those surrounding them, making a comprehensive mask mandate necessary to keep all students, teachers and staff safe. This premise is widely accepted by the medical and scientific communities. 

Lastly, the District has presented multiple options for students, including virtual school and e-learning. Therefore, any family that chooses not to embrace a mask policy has alternative learning options.  We cannot allow someone's choice not to wear a mask to endanger the health and safety of others.  

Lastly, we urge the adoption of a mask-wearing mandate because it makes financial sense. Simply put, it is far less costly to distribute masks than it is to risk the inevitable forced closures that will happen without mask mandates in place as COVID-19 cases spike.   

Let’s vow to do our best to protect the health of our community, prevent disruptions to our children’s education, and support our working families who need safe and reliable in-school care! Let’s all wear masks!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!