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Martin County School District keeps mask mandate for the final 12 days of school

WPBF West Palm Beach logo WPBF West Palm Beach 5/13/2021
a man sitting at a desk: meeting set to address mask mandate © Provided by WPBF West Palm Beach meeting set to address mask mandate

Wearing masks inside Martin County Schools is still mandatory but not for much longer.

School board members voted 4-1 Wednesday night to make masks optional beginning on June 1, after the current school year ends. Masks will be optional for graduation ceremonies and during summer school.

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Many parents and students at the meeting were unhappy with the decision, wanting the masks to be optional immediately.

"As the year has progressed and we’ve collected more data and a better understanding of the virus, I believe there is absolutely no reason for my child to be wearing a mask in school, certainly not a mask outdoors in the Florida heat," said Tiffany Williams, a parent in Martin County.

But another parent, Marilyn Southwick, spoke up in favor of keeping the mask mandate in place through the end of the school year.

"Please listen to credible, peer-reviewed data-based research," she said.

Most board members voted to keep the mandate in place until the end of the school year, saying they owed it to students and staff.

"We want to respect all of our families and parents," said school district Superintendent John Millay. "It is such a personal decision, but we're also trying to take care of our students and our staff members."

The board also agreed to change quarantine rules on June 1, saying it will no longer be required for students and staff who come in contact with a COVID-19-positive person if the student or staff member has been vaccinated. There will still be social-distancing layouts in classrooms, capacity limits on some school events and temperature checks at certain district sites.

Officials said that barring a spike in COVID-19 cases over the summer, they intend to make facial coverings optional in the fall.

READ THE FULL STORY:Martin County School District keeps mask mandate for the final 12 days of school

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