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Broward School Board amends flip-flop mask mandate

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Pre-K students March 24, 2021 in public school. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, Pool)

UPDATE: Broward County Schools released a new statement amending the mask mandate the issued last week.

“In light of the Governor’s Executive Order, the District is awaiting further guidance before rendering a decision on the mask mandate for the upcoming school year. At this time, the District’s face covering policy, which requires the use of masks in District schools and facilities, remains in place. The BCPS mask mandate will be discussed at a Special School Board Meeting on Tuesday, August 10.

Safety remains our highest priority. The District will advocate for all eligible students and staff to receive vaccines and will also work to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines – including frequent cleaning and disinfecting of our schools, hand washing, and staying home when sick. The District is continuing to collaborate with our local health organizations to monitor trends in the spread of COVID-19 and variants.”

See the following video statement from School Board Chair Dr. Rosalind Osgood and Interim Superintendent Dr. Vickie L. Cartwright regarding the District’s position:

Broward County Public Schools says the district will now comply with the governor’s executive order that prevents schools from requiring students wear masks in class. Per Governor Ron DeSantis, masks on kids will be a parental choice of funding will be withheld from the school district.

“Broward County Public Schools intends to comply with the Governor’s latest Executive Order,’’ the district said in a statement Monday afternoon.

Last week, the Broward School Board voted to require mask-wearing for all students, teachers, and visitors inside schools after the CDC recommended the coverings for K-12 schools, regardless of vaccine status. The first day of school for Broward public schools is Aug. 18.

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order that would allow the State Board of Education to withhold funding to any school district in the state that forced students to wear masks when they returned to school. DeSantis said he wants parents to be able to decide whether to have their children wear masks.