4% of Orange County students submit notes opting out of face mask requirement

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County Public Schools said Tuesday that roughly 4% of students submitted notes to opt-out of the district’s face mask requirement on the first day of school.

That’s about 8,200 notes. In total, the county had 209,000 kids head back to school on Tuesday, which is 3,000 more than last year.

READ: ‘We need transparency’: State Rep. calls for Florida to reinstate daily COVID-19 case data

Orange County Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins said by offering the option for parents to opt their children out of wearing a mask, the school district’s face mask requirement falls within the rules laid out by the state department of education.

She said during a first-day-of-school news conference on Tuesday that the district is playing by the rules put into place by Gov. Ron DeSantis that prohibit schools from putting mask mandates into place.

READ: Here’s how quarantining will work in Orange County schools this school year

Orange County parents are able to opt their students out of wearing a face mask if they provide a note stating they’d like to do so. Jenkins said those notes will be accepted for a few days.

READ: Governor’s order banning schools from issuing mask mandates raises legal questions, expert says

The principal at Hungerford Elementary in Eatonville said Tuesday that to her knowledge, no students at the school had provided an opt-out note.

Stay tuned to Channel 9 Eyewitness News for team coverage on the first day of school across Central Florida.

WATCH: Local doctor discusses COVID-19 symptoms and keeping kids out of the classroom

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.