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High School Student Pushes Back On DeSantis' Student Mask Mandate Ban

A young man wearing a grey shirt is smiling. He's in a vehicle.
Alison Holmes
/
Provided by JJ Holmes
JJ Holmes wants to return to school, but he says Governor Ron DeSantis' ban on student mask mandates makes that dangerous for his health.

A 17-year-old high school student from Longwood, Florida is pushing back on Governor Ron DeSantis’ ban on school mask mandates.

JJ Holmes has cerebral palsy and says wearing a mask is difficult.

Holmes said returning to school when the rest of his classmates aren’t masked is dangerous to his health.

Holmes spoke during an online press conference Monday using a communication app on his iPad. He said DeSantis’ argument that parents should have the freedom to choose whether their kids wear masks doesn’t make sense.

“He’s got to know that every single day at school students aren’t allowed to wear certain clothes, and we don’t have freedom to talk in school without raising our hand. We even need a pass from the teacher before we’re allowed to go to the restroom. So yeah, school isn’t really known for its freedoms," Holmes said.

Holmes said it’s been tough staying at home throughout the pandemic and he just wants to go back to school. He spoke during a media availability hosted by state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.

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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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