(PatrioticPost.com)- After battling her Florida school district’s mask mandate for more than two months and racking up 38 suspensions in the process, 8-year-old Fiona Lashells was allowed to return to school on Monday, November 8 after her district finally gave up the fight.
In July, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order making masks optional in schools, but some local districts, including Fiona’s in Palm Beach County, chose to defy the governor’s order and mandate masks for all students and staff.
This defiance of Governor DeSantis’ order made national news thanks in large part to Fiona Lashell.
In late September, Fiona, then seven, bravely addressed the school board arguing that her repeated suspensions weren’t going to change her mind. Fiona told the board they should go to jail for defying the Governor’s order and forcing her to wear a mask.
When Fiona’s courageous two-month battle against the school made national news, it became a flashpoint in the national debate over mandating masks in public schools.
Just days before the School District of Palm Beach County finally caved, Fiona appeared on Fox & Friends alongside Governor Ron DeSantis to discuss her ongoing fight.
Watch that HERE.
Between the heightened media attention given to Fiona’s tireless battle of wills and under pressure from Governor DeSantis’ office, the School District of Palm Beach County blinked.
On November 6, the district sent out a letter to the public announcing its decision to end the mandatory mask requirement at its schools. While the district strongly urged parents to continue masking their children, the letter added that parents will now be given the choice to have their children opt-out of wearing a face covering while in school.
In explaining its decision to lift the requirement, the district cited both the declining COVID cases in Florida and the recent court decision upholding Governor DeSantis’ ban on mask mandates in the state.
The letter also encouraged students and staff to get vaccinated, adding that the schools will work to make vaccines accessible. However, the district reiterated that vaccination remains voluntary.
Though the letter made no mention of it, it is likely the State Board of Education’s decision to impose fines on schools that defied the Governor’s order also played a part in the district’s decision.
Then again, so did Fiona Lashells’ unwillingness to surrender.