‘It’s a big victory’: Orange County School Board Chairman, teachers’ union praises mask decision

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ORANGE COUNTY, Florida. – Orange County Schools was the only school district in central Florida to join 9 others, in enacting mask warrants despite the governor’s executive order banning school districts from doing so. However, after a Leon County judge ruled that districts could indeed enact warrants over the masks, Orange County School Board President Teresa Jacobs felt relieved.

“It’s a big win,” Jacobs said. “Our board never sought to be offenders, we wanted to be the best for our children and to do it legally.”

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Jacobs added that this means the mask mandate for the 209,000 students at Orange County schools will begin Monday, with no opt-out option, unless a child has an underlying condition proven by a grade. of the doctor.

“I have no doubts in my mind that our children are safer because of this, and we will keep more children in school because of it,” she said.

“Just a relief that eventually we got someone saying that’s how it should be, we always said the school board should have local jurisdiction and hear them say it was just a relief.” , Wendy Doromal, President of the Orange County Class. The Teachers Association said.

She said that with this judge’s decision, the students are the winners.

“Today the kids won, the parents won and the staff won and the community won too,” Doromal said. “We’re trying to end the pandemic and you can’t do it if everyone doesn’t come together, take care of each other, and follow CDC guidelines. “

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However, not all were happy with the decision. Orange County mother Denise Fosher has refused her three elementary school children to wear masks at Timber Lakes Elementary School.

“Disappointed, I feel like our rights are being taken away from us,” Fosher said. “I think just because it will work for one child doesn’t mean it will work for another. The fact that they can demand masks for me is a bit overwhelming for them to crush the decision of the parents and what is best for their child.

Andrew Spar is the president of the Florida Education Association and he believes this move will almost immediately lead to other districts adopting mask mandates.

“I think the parents made it clear, as was this judge in this decision, that there really is an obligation for school boards to ensure the overall public health of our students and those who work in our schools,” Spar said. “I know that several already have on the agenda to potentially have more mandates for the masks. I hope the school districts take further action and that we continue to work with them to make sure we protect learning and keep children safe. “

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A member of the Osceola County School Board earlier this week expressed interest in enacting warrants on masks. Volusia County has put the discussion on the agenda for an emergency meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

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