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Let's see OCPS Superintendent Barbara Jenkins's mask "requirement" as an opportunity

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Norine Dworkin

Founding Editor

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Let's see OCPS Superintendent Barbara Jenkins's mask "requirement" as an opportunity

Per Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Jenkins: All students are required to wear masks when they go back to school Tuesday ... unless a parent opts their child out by sending a note to school.

You read that right. It’s a "requirement" you can opt out of. But hey, it’s not like Orange County’s 14-day rolling positivity rate isn’t nearly 21 percent, or that Florida isn’t leading the nation with Covid hospitalizations, even among kids. Barb’s just trying not to tick off Gov. Ron DeSantis, who’s decided to withhold state funding from any school district trying to enact a mask mandate while he’s trying to run for president. What’s next? Trying to prevent students from having sex in the bathtrooms? 

Still, don't think of this new policy as draining all the meaning from the word requirement. Think of this as an opportunity to avoid doing that which you don't want to do. And if that’s the case, why stop at masks? Kids balk at all kinds of things that pull them away from TikTok and Snapchat. But not anymore. As parents, we can just opt them out.

Homework? Opt out. Send a note to school. You'll never have to nag again. Your kid hates math class? Opt out! When will they ever need it? Besides, isn’t that what their phones are for? How about graduation requirements? Give seniors their diplomas already! Why bother finishing high school? Release them into the world. It's time they started earning their keep. But only if they're not required to do anything taxing or beneath them or that they simply don't want to do.

This policy opens up opportunities for grown-ups too. Frankly, I have always considered that speed limits infringe on my right to drive 120 mph on the 408 when I’m running late, which I always am because I can never seem to leave the house on time. And I bet weekend partiers resent having to spend on an Uber when they feel perfectly capable of driving home … once they figure out which of the four push-to-start buttons spinning in front of them is the one that will start the car.

Now we can opt out of the pesky requirements to be safe and sober drivers and hit the road, cocktail shakers in hand. It won't matter one whit that the roads will be less safe with us flying through traffic, too bombed to see straight. What's important is that public health and safety requirements don't matter if we don't wanna comply. And that's what ‘Merica's all about: Pursuit of our own happiness; everyone else be damned. Or something.

But Barb's totally got our backs on that. She's kinda required to.

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