By Susan Hardee Steger
August 17, 2021
Tonight’s meeting of the Nassau County School Board began with comments from Nassau County School Superintendent Dr. Kathy Burns requesting the school board require students to wear masks unless parents choose an “opt-out” provision.
Burns brought this motion forward after discussion with numerous Nassau County and Camden County health professionals and physicians. When School Board Attorney Brett Steger was asked by Burns if the suggested motion was in compliance with Florida Governor Desantis’ executive order, Steger replied yes.
Parental opt-out forms will be available online through the Nassau County School Board website and paper copies will be available at schools. No medical reason or notary seal is required on the opt-out form.
Information on when the mask requirement will begin will be forthcoming. Mask requirements for teachers and staff will be subject to union negotiations.
Not only will masks be required by students in schools, but also on school buses.
During the evening, 42 individuals spoke before the board. 20 supported the use of masks, including 7 medical professionals, while 22 were opposed.
Once the vote was taken, the decision to require masks with an opt-out provision was unanimous.
Due to the Delta variant, Nassau County is experiencing a large increase in COVID-19 cases, and area hospitals are experiencing an increase in COVID-19 admissions and deaths.