Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Health News Florida
News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Broward's school board makes masks optional for high school students

Broward Vickie Cartwright.png
The Miami Herald via WLRN
Broward County Schools interim superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright speaks to the media following a meeting of the Broward County School Board Oct. 26, 2021. The board voted to keep the current mask mandate in place for elementary and middle school students but to relax the policy for high school students starting Monday.

The school board kept in place a mask mandate for younger children because they are not currently allowed to be vaccinated for COVID.

The Broward County School Board, which had required masks for all students to slow the spread of COVID-19, decided Tuesday to relax its mandate for high school students.

The school board voted 5-3 to keep the district’s mask mandate for elementary and middle school students, while masks will be optional for high school students starting next week.

Interim Superintendent Vickie Cartwright had recommended that masks be optional for all students as long as the positivity rate remained below 5%. But board members reasoned that only high school students should have the option to go maskless because they are the only ones currently old enough to receive the vaccine.

Broward is one of six districts challenging a state Department of Health rule aimed at preventing student mask mandates. An administrative law judge heard arguments in the case last week and is expected to rule by Nov. 5.

The state Department of Education also has issued financial penalties on the district because of its mask requirements. The state agencies are carrying out rules enacted to enforce an executive order by Gov. Ron DeSantis that requires parents to decide whether children wear masks.