The Board voted 8-1 to keep the mask mandate in place, allowing exceptions for health and safety concerns only. Broward County schools started school Tuesday.
“You can’t ignore this pandemic. It’s deadly, and it’s getting worse instead of better and the more we don’t use masks, the more we position the mutation of this virus to grow,” said Dr. Rosalind Osgood, school board chair, during the special board meeting Tuesday.
The governor’s office Monday said the state’s Board of Education could move to withhold the salaries of superintendents and school board members who disregard the governor’s executive order.
“I’m not negotiable when it comes to the mask,” Osgood said prior to the meeting Tuesday. “The masks are to protect everyone, and no person has the right to risk another person’s protection.”
“I have to choose people. They are priority, and whatever the consequence is for loving and caring about people and wanting them not to be impacted and killed by a pandemic or have their life negatively impacted by a pandemic is a price that I’m willing to pay,” Osgood said.
Other school districts that have defied DeSantis’ executive order and instituted a mask mandate include Leon County, which includes Tallahassee; Alachua County, which includes Gainesville; Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa; and Orange County, which includes Orlando.