Palm Beach County Schools Will Require Masks Starting Monday
Board members voted 6-1 to require that all students and staff wear masks on school grounds starting Monday. The mandate will be in place for 90 days and allows for limited medical exemptions.
The Palm Beach County School District joined Broward, Alachua, Hillsborough and Miami-Dade in defying Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban against mask mandates that do not allow parental opt-outs.
School board members, after hours of heated public comments from residents vehemently opposed to a mask mandate, voted 6-1 on Wednesday to require that all students and staff wear masks on school grounds starting Monday.
The mandate will be in place for 90 days, and the policy will allow for limited medical exemptions.
The district previously allowed students to opt out if their parent signed a note.
The vote comes a day after the state Board of Education announced that Broward and Alachua counties could face penalties — including the removal of leaders from office — after determining they are in violation of the governor's executive order that requires parents to decide whether their children wear masks at school.
Broward and Alachua are only allowing mask opt outs if students provide a medical excuse signed by a physician or therapist. Miami-Dade and Hillsborough's rules are similar.
Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said medical opt-outs are not acceptable.