Orange and Seminole schools will return with compulsory masks for students
Schools in Orange County and Seminole will return to in-person teaching tomorrow with mask requirements in place for students.
Both school districts have announced that they will require students to wear face masks for the first 30 days of school, which begins Tuesday, August 10 in both counties. Parents in both districts can remove their child from the requirement, but they must send a written note with their signature asking to be exempt on the first day.
Orange County Superintendent Barbara Jenkins announced the decision in a recorded message that was sent to parents.
“As a precaution for the safety of our students and employees and after consultation with our health experts and school board members, I put on mandatory face masks for all students, unless the parent chooses to avoid the requirement. ” she said in the message.
The state of Florida is technically subject to an executive order banning face mask mandates in public schools. Governor Ron DeSantis signed the order, which gives Department of Education officials the ability to withdraw funds from schools that require masks to be worn to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Despite this, many districts have moved forward with masking rules for the safety of their students and teachers. In response, the DOE passed rules classifying mask requirements as harassment, thereby opening vouchers for anti-mask families to private schools for anti-bullying programs.
Florida recorded more than 130,000 new cases of the coronavirus last week, with deaths and hospitalizations also continuing to rise.
Stay on top of Central Florida news and opinions with our weekly newsletters and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but powerful team works tirelessly to bring you news from Central Florida, and every little bit counts.