Orange County school officials debate mask policy for students

New proposal would make masks optional

Orange County Public Schools held a work session to discuss the district's mask mandate.
Orange County Public Schools held a work session to discuss the district's mask mandate.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The school board for Orange County Public Schools is reviewing a draft mask policy that would make masks voluntary for the upcoming school year.

Board members are scheduled to meet during a work session at 1 p.m. Tuesday to review the policy put together by staff.

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The proposal outlines that mask usage among students, staff and visitors will be optional and up to the discretion of the person. The school district said once the revised policy is approved, it will go into effect no later than Aug. 2.

Several school districts have revised mask policies following the updated mask guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the expanded vaccine eligibility to kids as young as 12.

Marion County students will no longer be required to wear masks or face coverings starting June 1 after a unanimous vote from its school board. Students who wish to continue wearing masks can do so but school district officials say teachers, bus drivers and cafeteria staff will not be enforcing mask wearing.

Another school district that has made masks optional is Brevard County Public Schools. The school district voted last month to make masks optional starting after June 3.

Parents or guardians who would like to participate in public comment for the draft mask policy will have the opportunity to chime in during the Rule Development Workshop scheduled for June 17 at 1 p.m. and the school board meeting on July 13 starting at 4:45 p.m.

About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.