SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Seminole and Brevard County Public Schools approved new rules on wearing masks just days before their school years are set to begin.
In Seminole County, where school starts on Monday, board members fine-tuned the language in their mask rules, which was called one of the most contentious issues the board has addressed in a long time.
“I have never seen an issue that has been presented before us that has become so divisive,” said Dr. Tina Colderone, a Seminole school board member. “There doesn’t seem to be a happy medium.”
“One death is too many, guys, and this is not something we’re going to take lightly,” said board member Abbey Sanchez.
The new rules will require all staff and students to wear a face mask in school and on school buses when social distancing is not achievable.
There are exceptions for students and staff who have pre-existing medical issues or exclusions in their individual educational plans.
In Brevard County, school board members passed new mask rules similar to Seminole County’s with one important distinction.
In Brevard County, students in Pre-Kindergarten through second grade will be highly encouraged to wear masks when it’s not possible to be socially distanct, while the rest of the student body and staff will be required to wear masks in those circumstances.
Both districts’ mask rules were approved for only 90 days, allowing the superintendent to extend that expiration if he or she feels the need.