BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – There were about 60 people who spoke during public comment.
A parent spoke to the board saying it’s not up to board members to make a decision about mask mandates.
“Medical decisions lie in the hands of the parents,” the parent said.
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A parent who opposed masks in schools also encouraged community members to not participate in contact tracing with state health officials.
“As a reminder to parents, if the DOH calls you after a positive test, you have the right to refuse all questions. You don’t have to reveal close contacts.”
Another parent told the board if facial coverings were required in Brevard County, children wouldn’t wear them properly.
“They say using a mask incorrectly however may actually increase the transmission rather than reduce it.”
The school board invited several doctors to the meeting. Several doctors said their hospitals are busier now than they’ve ever been during the pandemic, members of the audience shouted, “fake news” and “lies.”
A former teacher and current attorney said that it is her responsibility to protect her daughter, and would like to see masks in the classroom.
“As a mother who dropped her daughter off for her first day of pre-K today, who’s not there to ask her how it went because I’m here trying to make sure she can continue to go to the school that she loves and is so excited about,” the mother said.
Another father stated he has made the last-minute decision to pull his kids from Brevard schools out of safety concerns.
“There seems to be a handful of parents. This state’s governor and three board members up here that don’t believe in science or refuse to think critically,” the man said.
A doctor invited by the school board stated prior to the first day of class, the district averaged 100 positive COVID-19 cases a day. Health officials also said 37% of eligible students are vaccinated.
The school board voted to have masks be optional for the school year.