Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is receiving backlash for berating children wearing masks and now the parents are speaking out.
While speaking at the University of South Florida, DeSantis demanded a group of Hillsborough County High School students to remove their masks.
During an interview with WFLA, Kevin Brown Sr., the father of one of the seven students at the governor’s press conference, said DeSantis should “stop bullying kids.”
Dawn Marshall, another parent, told the news station she is very upset about how the governor spoke to her son and the other students and that she instructed him to wear a mask in school.
“You do not have to wear those masks,” DeSantis said during the conference. “I mean, please take them off. Honestly, it’s not doing anything and we’ve gotta stop with this COVID theater. So if you want to wear it, fine, but this is ridiculous.”
“It’s just shocking that the governor told these kids take off your mask,” Marshall added. “He pretty much said take off your mask, it’s stupid, and take off your mask your parents don’t matter.”
Eric Marshall, Dawn’s son, said he felt “a little” pressed by the governor.
“It was more of pressure of an adult figure asking me to do something and it’s just like alright,” he added.
Hillsborough Superintendent Addison Davis has since issued a statement, reading in part: “Our students should be valued and celebrated. It is a student and parents’ choice to protect their health in a way they feel most appropriate.”
Brown Sr. told WFLA he agrees.
“His mother tells him to wear the mask,” he said. “I tell him it’s his choice, so he made that choice and the governor has no right to tell no kid or no one who they can or can’t wear a mask. He doesn’t have that right.”