Pinellas Will Not Consider Mask Mandate For Public Schools
The Pinellas County School Board decided against a motion that would have called for a vote on requiring students and staff to wear masks.
The Pinellas County School Board will not hold a special meeting on Friday to determine if the district should issue a mask mandate for students and staff.
During its regularly scheduled session Tuesday, the board voted down a mask mandate proposal from board member Caprice Edmond.
Edmond's motion called for a 90-day mask mandate that would have been evaluated every 30 days. It would have also included a medical opt-out clause.
Pinellas — Florida's eighth largest school district — would have been the latest in the state to defy Gov. Ron DeSantis's executive order that bars local districts from issuing mask mandates.
The issue prompted more than four hours of public comment Tuesday from a few dozen speakers who voiced opinions for and against a mask mandate.
Those speaking in favor during the sometimes-contentious public discussion cited the rising number of coronavirus cases and the need to require masks in an effort to help stem the spread.
Several who were opposed to the mandate said the school district would be "breaking the law" by going against the executive order.
Following Tuesday's vote, board members agreed to discuss mitigation efforts, and ways to help prevent the spread of the virus, during a future workshop.
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