Orange County Schools issues mask mandate for all students – parents may opt out

Orange County Public Schools is the latest school board to go against the Governor in requiring masks for all students.

Dr. Jenkins, the Superintendent states on Twitter “Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our students and employees, and after consultation with our health experts and school board members, I am implementing required face masks for all students unless the parent chooses to opt out of the requirement.”

Opting out means sending a simple note with your child on the first day of school such as “I am opting out of the face mask requirement for (child’s name)” with your signature. The student may give the note to the teacher.

This new face mask mandate is effective for 30 days, beginning Tuesday, August 10th. We will continue to monitor the situation with our local experts and make a determination about how to proceed before the 30 days have expired.

In Brevard County, over 500 students have signed up for virtual school as an option as Brevard has not issued a mask mandate. According to the school board, that results in millions of dollars in funding lost to the school district.

Brevard is scheduled to address the mask mandate again on August 10th which is also the first day of school. Board member Jennifer Jenkins has requested a special meeting before then to address the issue before school actually starts, but did not have the support from the rest of the board to do so.

Brevard School Board Chair Misty Belford stated in an email that she was against the mandate in part because of a threat made by Governor Desantis to pull funding from any school that issued such a mandate. This isn’t the first time she has stated her positions are influenced by intimidation from the State.

Several lawsuits have been filed against the Governor and the State for the ban on mask mandates in schools.

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