West Palm Beach, Florida (Trends Wide) — Dozens of police officers were waiting as the Palm Beach County School Board held a meeting Wednesday night with spectators with and without masks watching from separate rooms, in which it said it would comply with the latest state rule adopting a ” symptom-based approach “to quarantine students.
About 40 people sat in the mask section of the meeting, while those who wanted to go without covering their faces were in a room across the parking lot.
During the board meeting, more than 50 people spoke in person or via video conference to address the school system’s covid-19 policies. Others called the council to get their messages across.
The school system is one of several in the state that has a face mask mandate, challenging Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has said face covering decisions should be left to parents.
The state announced on Wednesday a revised policy that will allow asymptomatic children exposed to COVID-19 to return to schools if their parents or guardians prefer.
“Some parents may feel less comfortable sending their children back to school after they have been exposed, so the new rule allows those parents to keep their children at home for a period of time, and also allows parents to make them feel more comfortable letting their healthy child go back to school, do so, “said Dr. Joe Ladapo, Florida’s new secretary general of Health and secretary of the Department of Health.
“Symptom-based” approach to quarantine
The board said it sided with the state’s “symptom-based approach” to quarantine.
“There is a new Secretary of Health and he has changed the decision tree, so now we have modified our policy to comply with the new decision tree of the Secretary of Health,” said School Board President Frank Barbieri.
Most of the meeting participants opposed the mask mandate.
One person arrived with their young daughter wearing a mask that read: “This is a monitoring device.”
Another person said that he had been denied entry to the meeting because of his poster.
He wore a sign that read “Defund the school board” around his neck. He said he was told that entry with signs was not allowed.
The early speakers, most of whom wore masks, harshly criticized the junta over the mandate.