LEE COUNTY — The Lee County School District is getting ready to welcome kids back, just as COVID-19 patients hit an all time high in Lee Health hospitals.
Even though students are required to wear masks in the classroom, the School District is offering an opt-out form on its website parents can sign if they don't want their kid wearing a mask.
But we learned some parents are planning to send their kids to school with no mask, and no form.
Tara Jenner tells us she’s been reaching out to Lee County parents on social media who don’t want their kid wearing a mask.
"I’ve spoken with upwards of 50 people in the last 14 hours and I would say a vast majority of those 50 people, they will refuse to complete the form," said Jenner.
Jenner said she home-schools her kids, but she doesn’t want other children to have to wear masks either. She said there shouldn’t be a form for something Governor Ron DeSantis already approved.
“They’re getting them to ask permission for something that is a right, and you do not need to have permission to have a right," said Jenner.
But at the same time, Lee Health hospitals applauded the School District’s decision, and urged parents not to sign an opt-out form.
"We have 16 children with COVID at Golisano Children's Hospital now, and with school starting tomorrow, we expect this number to continue to grow. I ask parents to please wait to opt-out of this requirement. Let the surge subside," said Lee Health CEO Dr. Larry Antonucci on a call with media outlets.
The School District said it will let each individual school determine how it handles students wearing masks, but Jenner said, she can’t imagine that not having a signed form will be a problem.
“What are they going to do? Every time they walk into a new classroom, is someone going to sit there and check off to see whether they should or should not be wearing a mask?” said Jenner.