Seminole County Schools decides to keep opt-out option for student mask policy

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — The debate over masks in schools took center stage once again in Central Florida on Thursday.

School boards in Lake and Seminole counties both took up the issue.

The meeting in Seminole County started at around 8:30 a.m., and a decision was made just before 5 p.m.

READ: Florida’s ‘vaccine passport’ ban will be enforced starting this month

Dozens of people spoke their mind during the meeting as to whether they believe masks should be mandatory or optional.

Emotions were running high, and at least two people were removed from the meeting because they were being unruly.

READ: Latest wave of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida may have peaked, doctors say

There was a packed house for the special school board meeting as many individuals wanted to voice their opinion about whether students should be mandated to wear a mask or not.

At times the meeting became heated, especially at one point when board members decided to take a 5-minute break.

The district started out with a presentation from health experts talking about the recent spike in COVID-19 cases over the summer because of the delta variant.

READ: WHO alerts to another COVID-19 variant: Mu

Last reported on Aug. 31 on the district’s COVID-19 dashboard, 2,338 students are in quarantine, and there are 442 active cases. Most of those active cases are in elementary school children.

After 8.5 hours, board members decided not to change the current mask policy.

Some members of the audience believe the board held this meeting so early in the morning to try and keep people who must work away.

The board president said it was just what worked best for the board members’ schedules.

See more in the video above.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, and click here to watch the latest news on your Smart TV.

Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.