FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Tempers are flaring in a face mask fight as parents and school board members go at it over the mandate for Broward County Public Schools students.
The Florida Department of Education gave the county school board until 10 a.m. on Tuesday to respond to their most recent letter, which asked them to defend their decision on instilling the mask mandate in schools despite Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order to give parents the choice.
The district dealt with another contentious day at the Broward County Administration Building.
“Yes, my child has a right to an education! He is not sick, and now he’s at home getting worksheets, and you consider that an education! You’re disgusting!”
With the board meeting to discuss how to train school nurses to administer COVID tests, those who signed up to speak were parents who only wanted to talk about masks.
One mother even brought her child along.
“My child is not at school!” she yelled. “He’s not getting an education because you, because you think worksheets is the way to teach our children!”
Two of them were asked to leave.
The district is in a battle with the state about their mask mandate, which goes against the governor’s order to give parents the option.
They had until Tuesday morning to respond to the state board of education, who is investigating.
They quote the law in their letter, writing, “Each district shall constitute a unit for the control, organization, and administration of schools.”
And when it comes to masks, they said they can mandate them “if the district school board finds that those requirements are necessary for the safety or welfare of the student body or school personnel.”
With protestors literally banging on the door, the chair of the board said they’re within their rights.
“We feel the governor is overreaching his authority in this measure,” said Broward County School Board Chair Dr. Rosalind Osgood.
Since the first day of school, 84 students and 68 employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
At Fort Lauderdale High School, there was another protest after a 10th-grade student was denied entry into her classes because she’s refusing to wear a mask.
“You can tell that they’re frustrated with me,” she said. “So I just stand there and then students pass me with masks, and they wouldn’t let me in.”
She’s yet to be allowed in the front door.
The principal said she was the only student not wearing a mask. Everyone else is complying.
“Our whole goal is to keep the children safe,” said interim principal Sean Curran. “We have the school board policies that guide what we do, and we are really excited to welcome all our students back to school, in-person learning.”
On Wednesday morning, she and her father returned to the school without masks and after they walked into the building, the father left handcuffed in the back of a police vehicle.
The school board has promised to keep an eye on the number of COVID-19 cases. They said when the cases go down, they’ll reevaluate their mask mandate.
The state said they could also withhold funding. The federal government said they’ll replace every dollar.
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