Published On: Tue, Aug 3rd, 2021

Palm Beach County School Board determines the district can’t require face coverings

Recently, Palm Beach County School Board attorneys determined that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order makes it impossible for school board members to enforce a mask mandate for students.

Palm Beach County School Board Chair Frank Barbieri. Photo from palmbeachschools.org

The governor’s order does not stop a school district from putting a mask requirement in place. However If a district mandates masks, the State can withhold funding for the school district.

“The order authorizes parents to disregard any Board action requiring mandatory masking of their children,” School Board Chairman Frank Barbieri said in a statement to The Palm Beach Post.

Classes begin Aug. 10 for the Palm Beach County School District and the district does not require a mandate. 

However, Superintendent Mike Burke is considering a facial covering requirement after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for students to wear masks in schools.

“I am committed to following the science,”said Burke. “I wouldn’t see any reason to question the CDC.”

DeSantis’ order, released on Friday, directs the Department of Education and the Department of health to issue emergency rules that allow parents to make the decision for their children to wear masks.

Palm Beach County School Board Chairman Frank Barbieri is worried that the state may withhold funding if the district bars parents from making a decision.

“The Governor threatened that if the School Board imposes any restrictions that impede parental choice, that District faces a withholding of State funding,” said Barbieri. “The District will continue strongly urging the wearing of masks on our campuses.”

The School Board will hold a meeting on Wednesday regarding the issue.

About the Author

- I am a senior at Lynn University majoring in Multimedia Journalism. I am the editor-in-chief for the student paper iPulse.

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