Both Orange and Seminole County schools return to in-person classes this week and in spite of what Governor DeSantis wants, will require them to wear masks.
Governor DeSantis signed an executive order banning face mask mandates in Florida public schools citing the rights of parents to choose how/when their children should be protected from deadly viruses themselves, versus listening to a top-down decision from government scientists. DeSantis also stated that any schools that go against the order could be faced with having their funding pulled as a result.
Orange County Superintendent Barbara Jenkins stated in a recorded message sent to parents that, “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.”
Parents who disagree with the policy have the option to opt out by sending a signed note with their child. By allowing parents that choice, DeSantis’ office has since stated that the move by the counties was “permissible” and that they will not be punished for going rogue.
Masks are also required for all employees and adults who visit any school campus in Orange County.