A Chinese American member of a Florida county school board was called a communist during a heated meeting about face masks last week.
What happened: Santa Rosa County school board chairwoman and former science teacher Wei Ueberschaer was heckled while discussing a proposed mask requirement on May 3, the Washington Post reported.
- Prior to this meeting, State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees announced on April 29 that lifting the use of face masks when social distancing was not possible.
- Parents objecting to the mask requirement shouted at officials, calling them names such as “RINOs” (Republicans In Name Only).
- “This is Santa Rosa County, not China,” a man from the audience yelled at Ueberschaer, while another parent called her a communist.
- A resident of the county since 1998, Ueberschaer said she would have responded to the derogatory comments had she heard them over the loud noise.
- Some parents posed the same arguments that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and former President Donald Trump made, claiming masks can have negative effects on children.
- A video clip of the meeting was uploaded on Twitter and has been viewed more than 234,000 times as of this writing.
The Santa Rosa Country (FL) School Board met today to discuss lifting the mask mandate in schools. When Asian-American Chair Wei Ueberschaer attempted to read her statement, the audience yells “you’re a communist” and “this is Santa Rosa County, not China.” pic.twitter.com/FoPoYUxwmW
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 3, 2021
No longer a protective strategy: During the meeting, Ueberschaer lamented face masks becoming a political issue instead of being seen as a strategy to protect people.
- “While my preference would be to finish out the remaining weeks of this school year with a protocol that’s been working in our schools all year, I will continue to rely on our public health officials to recommend (policies with) their expertise in infectious disease control,” she said.
- Previously, students did not have to wear masks whenever they were outside or could socially distance themselves.
- Prior to the meeting, students attending Santa Rosa County schools were required to wear face coverings in most areas, Pensacola News Journal reported.
- The board members ended up lifting the mask order and replacing it with a recommendation.
On the same day, DeSantis announced that he will sign several executive orders to suspend and eventually invalidate all local COVID-19 emergency orders in Florida.
Featured Image via allinlen