A crowd of about 40 people sat in the masked section of the meeting, while those who wanted to go without a face covering were in a room across the parking lot.
During the board meeting, more than 50 people spoke in person or via video conference to address the school system’s Covid-19 policies. Others called the board to relay their messages.
“Some parents may be less comfortable sending their kid back to school after being exposed, and so the new rule allows for those parents to keep their children home for a period of time, and the new rule also allows for parents who are more comfortable letting their healthy child return to school go back to school,” said Dr. Joe Ladapo, Florida’s new surgeon general and Department of Health secretary.
The board said it was siding with the state’s “symptom-based approach” regarding quarantining.
“There’s a new surgeon general and he’s changed the decision tree, so now we modified our policy to meet the new surgeon general’s decision tree,” school board chairman Frank Barbieri said.
Most of the participants at the meeting spoke in opposition of a mask mandate.
One person arrived with their young daughter wearing a mask that said, “This is a control device.”
One person said he was being denied entry into the meeting because of his signage. He was wearing a “defund the school board” sign around his neck. He said he was told signage was not allowed inside.
Early speakers, most of whom who wore masks, sharply criticized the board for the mandate.