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School board gives notice of intent to repeal permanent mask policy

File photo: November 2 school board meeting

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

In response to a November 24 letter from attorney Jeff Childers to the Alachua County School Board, board attorney David Delaney has sent Childers a letter stating that the board has already given “notice of the intent to repeal School Board Policy 8450.01 relating to protective facial coverings during pandemic epidemic events.”

The school board will take up the issue at their next regular meeting on December 7. The legal notice was sent to the Gainesville Sun for publication on November 23.

Policy 8450.01, adopted in its current form on October 20, 2020, provides that “During times of elevated communicable disease community spread (pandemic or epidemic), the Superintendent will issue periodic guidance through School Board plans/resolution(s) in alignment with public health officials and/or in accordance with government edicts and including any Pandemic Plan developed by the District’s Pandemic Response Team.”

The policy specifically gives the superintendent the authority to order the use of face masks: “As such, during times of elevated communicable disease community spread, the Superintendent may activate this policy by notifying the school community, requiring all school staff, volunteers and visitors (including vendors) to wear appropriate face masks/coverings on school grounds unless it is unsafe to do so or where doing so would significantly interfere with the Districts [sic] educational or operational processes.”

The policy separately states, “All students and staff are required to wear masks while being transported on District school buses or other modes of school transportation.”

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However, when Judge Peter Sieg granted a Writ of Mandamus to plaintiffs from Alachua County, he ordered the school board to “immediately adopt a written policy in compliance with Florida law… to be maintained indefinitely for all public schools under the control of the Alachua County School Board.”

The agenda for the December 7 school board meeting is currently listed as “Coming soon.”

  • BFD! How about the safety and security of our schools? Oxford, MI lost THREE sweet kids today to an active school shooter. You want that here?
    School Shooting in Oxford, Mi Today THREE KIDS DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Buddy Rich
    3:29 PM (0 minutes ago)
    to Richard, boardmembers, cwatson, Lynette, Casey, robin.steele, Congresswoman, anthony, FDLE, governorron.desantis, Ward

    I am putting all of you on notice!!! If this incident doesn’t get you folks off your damn asses and secure our schools, funnel them into the schools the morning, use metal detectors and all methods on the market today to prevent a similar incident from taking place here, you had better get your financial accounts ready, your personal property ready and some very angry parents ready for an uprising! I personally have had it with you folks.This is my final communication to all of you. It’s time to garner a coalition of parents and citizens and take you all into court! I am seriously contemplating putting my kid back into private school (SFCA) where it is safe and secure for her to get an education. The school board is more interested in who is chair, vice chair, mask or no mask etc.. The same for the law enforcement agencies involved. My numerous emails have not gotten your attention, nor does it seem you really care. If you do not understand what FUBAR means, ask a military veteran! That is all of you that have failed to secure our schools, now go mask up! We parents are going to march to the tune of “Let’s Roll”.

    Marvin Rippner

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