No changes made to mask policy at Osceola County schools

Masks are optional for high school students

(Osceola County Public Schools)

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – An emergency school board meeting was held Monday in Osceola County to have discussions on a mask policy.

No changes were made to the current policy.

Masks are optional for high school students. Students in K-8th grade have the chance to opt out of the mask policy with permission from a parent or guardian.

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Parent Michael Kepnar said he doesn’t want his son to wear a mask at school.

“It was important to me for my son, for every other kid in our school,” Kepnar said. “With a mask on, it does impact students. It reduces their social interaction, it reduces the facial recognition that you can see the reinforcement of smiles and laughter.”

District one board member Terry Castillo made a motion to require a doctor’s note to opt out of the district’s mask policy after calling for the emergency meeting.

No one else on the board gave support for her motion, failing it from advancing.

“We are in a very emotional time and people are tired. People are fatigued. People want something to happen so that this isn’t our reality, but it is our reality,” Castillo said.

Castillo told News 6 she wants to see a 60-day mask mandate.

She wanted this in place after Celebration School K-8 was forced to turn to online learning last week due to COVID-19 cases.

Also on Monday, Brevard County voted 3-2 in favor of a 30-day mask policy. Students can opt out of the policy with a note from their doctor.

Orange County students will have to wear masks until the end of October. Just like in Brevard County, students can opt-out of the policy with a note from their doctor.

About the Authors:

Jon is a Web Producer for ClickOrlando and has been with News 6 since March 2019.

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.