Volusia County school district debates making masks optional

Any policy change could take 6 weeks to go into effect, board says

The Volusia County school board held a workshop Tuesday where the county health department gave it suggestions on its mask mandate but the decision is still up for debate.
The Volusia County school board held a workshop Tuesday where the county health department gave it suggestions on its mask mandate but the decision is still up for debate.

DeLAND, Fla. – The Volusia County school board held a workshop Tuesday where the county health department gave it suggestions on its mask mandate but the decision is still up for debate.

Patricia Boswell, director of the county health department, told the board the mandate should stay in place for now. She said her push stems from current CDC guidelines and a recent jump in local positivity rates.

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Board member Carl Persis said he wanted to start the conversation, though. He said more people are getting vaccinated and now, the parents he’s heard from want the choice.

“It’s so individualized for the family that it’s hard when we do the one size fits everybody,” Persis said.

A decision on the matter was not made Tuesday. Persis said if the board decided to eventually make the policy change, it could take up to six weeks to go into effect.

Elizabeth Albert, President of the Volusia United Educators union, said masks are one of the teachers’ only lines of defense and not enough have been fully vaccinated yet. She hopes the board will re-evaluate the mask policy at the end of summer school.

“We’ve had massive amounts of quarantines that are not listed on our websites because we only post the positive cases. So, the numbers aren’t a true representation to the disruption of learning environment,” she said.


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