ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Masks remain optional for Orange County students and staff members, despite the CDC’s new guidance stressing that everyone should wear a mask inside. However, the superintendent could make changes based on a provision set forth in the policy.
The topic of masking in school was not on the agenda at Tuesday’s school board meeting, but many parents still weighed in.
“I do hope you bring back universal masking before school starts,” parent Rebecca Bowman said. “I’ve already pulled my son from the district. I cannot send my 8-year-old who is not vaccinated to school with people who are not wearing a mask.”
“It comes to parents’ rights, not the government or the school board,” Parent Lou Marin said.
The school board voted back on July 13th to make masks optional. Tuesday, School board leaders reviewed data among pediatric patients and weighed in about the pros and cons of masks in schools.
“I just want to make sure we’re not putting a burden on our children because there is a risk with masks,” school board member Angie Galo said.
“I am in favor of masking our unvaccinated, our children who do not have the opportunity for a vaccine,” school board member Melissa Byrd said.
School board chair Teresa Jacobs said,
“If there are four board members that believe we should discuss this. I think we need to come back to the table,” School Board Chair Teresa Jacobs said.
School board leaders also plan to ask the Department of Health for daily coronavirus data for school-aged kids, especially for those who can’t get the vaccine.