Fists were "flying" and doctors were "shoved" on Monday after a mask mandate was announced at the Lee County School District board meeting in Florida, reports NBC News affiliate NBC-2. Sheriff's deputies were called in to break up the fights.
The majority of parents who spoke at the meeting were against the mask mandate. One man somehow connected the mandate to child sex trafficking, claiming, "by putting masks on these kids' face, you can't identify any of 'em, so by the nine of you [school board officials] voting already on this, tells me you guys support sex trafficking." A woman, wearing a 'My Body, My Choice' sticker, argued that kids "eat their masks."
A physician and mother of a child in the Lee County School District, which includes around 90,000 students, thanked the board members for keeping "faculty and students safe." Leaving the building after the meeting, the doctor was "shoved," NBC-2 reports. The doctor said she was "not at all" shocked by the escalated fiasco.
If students or faculty do not honor the mask mandate there may be "disciplinary actions depending on the situation," writes NBC-2. The 30-day mandate is in response to Florida's increasing COVID-19 infections and death toll, though 14,000 students have reportedly been opted out of the mandate using a medical opt-out option.