BREAKING: Alachua County schools declare masks optional for students with parent opt-out and fully voluntary masking after winter break

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 5:40 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Alachua County School Board members voted to comply with the state’s ban on mask mandates by allowing parents to opt their children out of wearing masks in school.

Previously, school board members adopted a new mandatory mask policy requiring elementary and middle school students to wear a face-covering until December 6.

The meeting and motion to change the mask policy was brought up by board member Rob Hyatt.

He called for the district to come into full compliance with the state Department of Education and Department of Health to continue the mask mandate with a full parental opt-out for all students until December 17.

Upon return from winter break in early January, masks will be optional for all.

School board attorney David Delaney says with the policy adopted, he will request for the next state Department of Education board hearing to be dropped.

Board members Mildren Russel and Gunnar Paulson voted in dissent of the new policy as they wanted masks to be fully voluntary immediately.

The new policy starts on November 12 and lasts until December 17.

Miami-Dade and Broward Counties also dropped their mask mandates.

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