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Orange County School Board Calls Executive Session to Discuss Face Mask Mandate, Possible Legal Action Against State

Photo: Teresa Jacobs
Photo: Teresa Jacobs

The decision comes as coronavirus cases among students and teachers continue to surge in Central Florida.

The closed-door, one-hour emergency meeting will take place on Monday, August 23rd.

Chair Teresa Jacobs says the board will discuss options for passing a mask mandate and possibly suing the state over its ban on these policies with legal counsel.

Then Jacobs says the board will proceed to make recommendations to Superintendent Barbara Jenkins about making changes to the current face mask policy the following day on Tuesday.

“If we could be ready to have a discussion about our position on the inconsistencies and the violation, the contradiction between the rule and the statute and be prepared to potentially give direction to the superintendent.”

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Jacobs says time is of the essence especially when there are kids in class right now who are worried they're going to get a vulnerable little brother or sister sick simply by going to school. 

“That child is sitting in class thinking they are going to kill their brother or sister. Those are the stories I'm hearing. That is mental anguish. That is mental abuse. That is not protecting the rights of our parents and our students."

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Gov. Ron DeSantis has threatened school board members that pass mask mandates with salary cuts and possible removal. 

The district has already logged more than 1,000 cases and quarantines among students and teachers in the first two weeks of school.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.