Parents, health professionals, religious leaders call for masks to be required in schools in Duval County

Parents, health professionals, religious leaders call for masks to be required in schools in Duval County

Ad “I am a little concerned that optional will mean strong-arming, some teachers are going to strong-arm the children who are vulnerable and pressured,” said parent Melissa Bernhart, with Moms for Liberty. People hold signs against mask. (WJXT)

“If many other kids are not wearing them because they are option, then there’s going to be a lot more chance for the virus to spread, and I don’t want to see any kid in the hospital or with long COVID symptoms,” said organizer and parent Matt Harley. The group of speakers at the news conference included parents, a doctor and a student.

There was also another group that came out to protest the idea of mask mandates. Some people in attendance were cheering and holding signs, while others participated from their cars

The district technically upgraded its mask policy from having them be optional to strongly recommended. The district follows other area school districts like Clay and St. Johns counties in making masks optional. Mask exceptions will be made for unvaccinated students with medical or developmental conditions, the district said.

“Students will not be required to wear masks,” the school district said, adding they are optional for the school day as well as school-related events like bus transportation. Duval County Public Schools said Wednesday that it strongly recommends that unvaccinated students wear masks when the 2021-22 school year begins in August.

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