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Can A Duval Student Ask To Sit Away From One Who's Unmasked? District Says 'No'

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
LM Otero
The Florida Channel
According to the Duval school district, if a student does not wear a mask, a teacher can remind them to put one on, but they cannot be disciplined.

On private social media groups, teachers discussed masked students requesting to be seated away from unmasked students and the frustration of being told by district officials they can't do anything.

More than 8,000 students have opted out of wearing masks within Duval County Public Schools within the second week of school — a small number representing only about 6.5 percent of the 125,000 students on campus.

But teachers say the numbers are disproportionately dispersed classroom-to-classroom.

In teacher Andrew Mathis' classes at Oceanway Elementary, he says about eight of his 47 students — 16 percent — have opted-out of wearing masks. 

"Our elementary children aren't vaccinated and now some are also without masks," Mathis told The Times-Union. "I know the district wanted to make masks a mandate. Last year I found it easy to enforce. It wasn't a problem to say, 'Put your mask on.' Everyone was doing the same thing." 

Read the rest of this story from WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union.

Copyright 2021 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit WJCT News 89.9.

Emily Bloch – The Florida Times-Union