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ACPS parent reacts to school board’s latest mask mandate change

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 8:59 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The debate over Alachua County Public School’s mask mandate sparked state-wide controversy but one said school board member he has a different opinion.

This has never been a battle with the Governor,” said School Board Member Rob Hyatt.

Hyatt called for a special meeting to discuss the district’s mask mandate. His motion, approved three to two, calls for the district to come in full compliance with State Department of Education and State Department of Health requirements.

“We in many ways have been successful,” said Hyatt. “We’ve pushed the envelope a long way and again, for me, it wasn’t ever a battle of for anything other than doing the best we can.”

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

Once students return from winter break in early January, a mask or a facial covering will be voluntary for all students regardless of grade level. Parent David Kaplan already scheduled an appointment to get his eight-year-old student a COVID-19 vaccine.

“I’m sure that there are groups of parents on both sides that are unhappy which is maybe the mark of a good compromise,” said Kaplan. Board members Gunnar Paulson and Mildred Russell voted in dissent. Kaplan said it’s a compromise considering an upcoming state court hearing.

“So I really wanted to send the board the message that making was still important until the five to 11-year-olds had a chance to get their full immunity,” added Kaplan. “Ideally it would have been a full across the board mandate through the end of the year but we understand the pressure they’re under. This is a good second choice, a compromise.”

Parents can start opting out from Friday until Dec. 17.

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