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12-Year-Old Floridian Lila Hartley Wrote Her School Board to Ask for a Face Mask Mandate. Here’s What Happened Next.

Photo: Lila Hartley

K-12 students are speaking out about  face masks in schools ahead of the first day of school. One 12-year-old wrote to her school board urging them to require facial coverings. 

12-year-old Lila Hartley wrote her school board in Duval County last week asking them to require face masks ahead of the new school year. 

On a call with Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Hartley says she was concerned about the safety of her 10-year-old brother who is too young to get the vaccine. 

“He is ten years old and is not eligible to get the vaccine. And I just don’t want him or any other kids that can’t get vaccinated to get sick at school. Especially if it’s like a place that means so much to us.”

Fried congratulated Hartley for her efforts.

“I know my niece is 12 and my nephew is 9. They’re going through the same conversations, as well as my step sons are 11, 10 and 6 and I know these are conversations that we have at home as well. Very proud of you to be speaking out on behalf of so many of our kids all across the state.”

Fried says each school district should have the option to mandate face masks. The Duval school board now has an opt-out face mask mandate in place. 

Other school districts including Orange, Seminole, Hillsborough and Palm Beach counties have also passed similar policies.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »