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Marion County Public Schools: Masks are optional for 2021-22 school year

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:36 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - The Marion County School Board met Thursday to discuss mask wearing and audience capacity for school events.

School board members came to a consensus to make masks optional for this upcoming school year.

This is a resolution, so board members have the flexibility to change their decision if need be.

Nancy Thrower school board chair said they made this decision based on the low number of COVID cases during summer school.

“We have to remain fluid and flexible as we continue to navigate through COVID-19 and we have learned that that’s what’s most important and to continue to come together as a community and beat this virus.”

Parents at the meeting were delighted to hear the decision.

“I liked a lot about what you all talked about today especially going optional with the mask. I want the kids to be able to breathe number one and number two feel normal again,” said Kristin Sullivan.

Brian Carth, a parent of four said parents should be held accountable if their child wants to wear a mask or not.

“I believe this should be put on the parents and not on the school board this is our decision I don’t want you making it for me. This I feel very strongly about, I work for marion county fire rescue I deal with people with COVID all sorts of diseases on a daily basis and this is not your decision.”

The board also decided to allow full capacity at events like athletics, art and music performances. Recognizing options could quickly change based on the community health conditions.

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