Volusia County approves new mask policy, giving parents choice to opt-out children

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants parents to decide if students wear face coverings

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Changes are coming to the mask policy at Volusia County Public Schools after district leaders discussed the issue during a Tuesday night meeting.

After a 3-2 vote, parents can now sign a form so their child can opt-out from wearing a mask in class.

The form can be found at this link.

On Sept. 1, the board voted 3-2 passing a face-covering policy that went into effect Sept. 7. The mandate required students from kindergarten through 12th grade to wear masks until Oct. 15, although students could have opt-out with a note from a doctor.

[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider | Human remains found in 500-pound gator | Labor shortage: BBQ restaurant closes after 35 years]

The board was scheduled to discuss its new mask policy last week, but the emergency meeting was canceled to allow time to wait for a decision about Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban on mask mandates in schools. An appellate court has since ruled the ban can stay in place while a lawsuit challenging the executive order works its way through the appeals process.

The mask discussion comes after state officials have threatened to withhold funding from districts with face covering policies that don’t give students the ability to opt-out with a parental note.

At least two school districts, Alachua and Broward, have faced financial consequences as a result of mask mandates when the state department of education withheld its school board salaries. Orange County has also received a warning from Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran over its mask mandate.

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.