Broward County Public Schools relaxing the mask mandate for high school students
Broward County, Florida – Starting Nov. 1, Broward high school students will no longer be required to wear a mask.
According to the district, parents will choose whether their children will wear a mask.
Mandatory masking will remain in place for middle and elementary school students. The school board voted 5-3 in favor of the change, noting that keeping younger students masked is important for now because the COVID-19 vaccine is not yet available for children under age 12.
“I do feel very strongly with the middle and elementary school students because there’s not an option for them to be vaccinated and they seem to be more touchy, feely, continue to have them with masks,” school board member Dr. Rosalind Osgood said.
According to the school board, they would reassess the mask requirement as conditions in the pandemic changed. Board members noted that the COVID-19 positivity rate in Broward has been at or below 3% for at least 10 days.
Without giving parents an opt-out, Broward was among several state school districts that were penalized by the Florida Board of Education for instituting a school mask mandate.