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First Coast Connect

Masks In Schools; 'Pregnant Girl' Author; Photoshopped Yearbook; WGW

A student wearing a mask in the classroom
LM Otero
Associated Press
A student wearing a mask in the classroom

The Duval County Public Schools district will no longer require masks for the upcoming school year. The school board surveyed 28,685 parents, students, and community members, and says that its decision came down to a combination of CDC input, survey results, and guidance from local health officials. 

In addition to no longer requiring face masks, the district is pulling back on other COVID-19 protocols, such as desk shields, temperature checks, and the use of Duval HomeRoom, which is a platform that the district has been using for distance learning. The roll back of mask requirements and coronavirus protocols is a polarizing one, as children under 12 are not yet eligible for vaccines. 

Dr. Jeffrey Goldhagen, Professor and Chief Division of Community and Societal Pediatrics, University of Florida - Jacksonville, and President International Society for Social Pediatrics and Child Health, called in to discuss the decision. 

Pregnant Girl 

For the average student, college is a challenge, but for a teen mom, it’s unfathomable. Nicole Lynn Lewis is a former teen mother who attended The College of William and Mary with a newborn daughter in tow. Lewis’ new book, Pregnant Girl, covers her experience attending college as a teen mother, and calls for a better future for other young mothers. 

Lewis joined us to discuss her new book. 

Photoshopped Yearbook

80 female students at Bartram Trail High School had their yearbook photos digitally edited without their consent for “modesty.” The photos were altered to cover up their shoulders and chests, whereas some male students were pictured wearing speedos and their photos received no edits. 

Assistant Professor of Political Science at Flagler College, and author of Why We Lost the Sex Wars: Sexual Freedom in the #MeToo Era  Lorna Bracewell joined us to discuss the issue. 

University of Miami Coral Reefs

The University of Miami has found a new way to breed coral. The UM researchers are using  experimental techniques involving collecting the eggs and sperm from corals to breed more and make them more resistant to climate change. 

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Mackenzie Guiry can be reached at

First Coast Connect first coast connect
Mackenzie Guiry is a senior multimedia journalism major at the University of North Florida. She spent her first two years of college at Florida Atlantic University.