Volusia County school board votes to make face masks optional

Decision goes into effect immediately

The school board is meeting on Monday to vote on an amended policy that would make face coverings optional and voluntary.
The school board is meeting on Monday to vote on an amended policy that would make face coverings optional and voluntary.

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Students, teachers, staff and visitors at Volusia County schools can now ditch their face masks.

The school board voted on Monday to make face coverings optional at any school facility.

Students and staff can still wear masks if they want.

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Last month, the board voted to advertise the proposed change to the policy, which is legally required.

The district’s mask requirements sparked hours of debate during a school board meeting on May 11. Parents, students and teachers spoke out on the policy.

“I am my kids’ mom. I know what’s best for my kids. Not the CDC, not the government,” one Volusia County parent said.

The board also heard from a teacher in favor of keeping face coverings mandatory.

“Teachers like me continued to be confined to closed classroom spaces all day, every day, with about 25 people to a room. We aren’t even permitted to open windows or doors for ventilation,” the Volusia County teacher said.

Monday’s vote comes after Gov. Ron DeSantis put an end to local mask mandates in May. During a news conference last month, DeSantis made his stance on the issue clear.

“These kids do not need to be wearing these masks. OK, I’m sorry they don’t. We need to let them be kids,” DeSantis said.