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Police called after Florida moms refuse to wear face masks at school board meeting about mask policy

Police called after Florida moms refuse to wear face masks at school board meeting about mask policy
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Florida police on Tuesday forcibly removed a small group of moms refusing to wear masks at a county school board meeting about the potential extension of a mask mandate in schools. 

According to NBC’s Daytona Beach affiliate station, WESH, officials said that a group of moms refused to adhere to coronavirus guidelines requiring masks as the Volusia County School Board was preparing to discuss a mandatory mask policy that had been put in place in August. 

After multiple school board members and attorneys reportedly tried to convince the mothers to put on masks, shouting erupted, prompting calls to police. 

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The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported that seven parents were banned from the property for one year as a result of the incident, which delayed Tuesday’s meeting by more than an hour. 

A video posted by the News-Journal showed one mom, Rachael Cohen, being pulled outside of the meeting room by a police officer as she attempted to remain inside. The group of moms had planned to discuss their complaints surrounding the county’s mandatory mask order at schools. 

"The school district is taking away parents' rights," Cohen told the News-Journal, adding that her group "does not accept the premise that the district has control over our children when it comes to medical issues." 

According to the outlet, Cohen had decided to home school her children this year as a result of the guidelines implemented by the school district amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Masks should never be mandated because our children are not the property of the government. They are not the property of the school board. They are not the property of the district. We own our own children,” Cohen told WESH.

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WESH reported that one woman escorted out of the room called those gathered inside “sheep,” with the group claiming while speaking to reporters outside that masks are “an experiment that requires consent.” 

Florida became a COVID-19 hot spot over the summer, and as of Wednesday, the Florida Department of Health has recorded a total of 790,426 infections, and 16,571 deaths in the Sunshine State. 

Last month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans Group of Florida mayors calls on DeSantis to issue mask mandate DeSantis promises to keep Florida open despite recent coronavirus case surge MORE (R) announced that he would be lifting all coronavirus restrictions on restaurants and bars, as well as prohibiting local governments from closing businesses or imposing any restrictions without justification.

While speaking at a rally for President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE earlier this month, the Florida governor did not wear a mask and was seen high-fiving members of the crowd just days after the president was released from the hospital following his COVID-19 diagnosis.