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Superintendent Simon: “We have no plans to change our current masking requirement”

Press release from Alachua County Public Schools

Statement from Dr. Carlee Simon, Superintendent of Alachua County Public Schools, regarding the Florida Department of Education Order issued August 20, 2021

Alachua County Public Schools will be responding to the Florida Department of Education’s order, but we have no plans to change our current masking requirement.

Based on the dramatic spike in cases and quarantines in our schools and community, we believe universal masking is absolutely critical to keeping schools open, protecting the health of our students and staff, and limiting the current strain on our local healthcare system. If necessary, we will pursue legal action to ensure that we maintain local control over our schools and are able to meet our obligation to provide a safe learning environment for all students.

I’m gratified by the outpouring of positive messages the district has been receiving. That includes a phone call I received this afternoon from Miguel Cardona, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, who offered his support and that of his department. 

I want to thank the Alachua County Commission, which has generously offered to make up any loss of funding the state may impose, and the many medical experts who have advised and supported the district throughout the pandemic.

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Thanks also to the ACPS employees, students, and families who have demonstrated patience and understanding as we address the COVID crisis.

Finally, I want to express how proud I am of the School Board for its courageous stand. It is an honor to work with this Board, with the people of this district, and the entire community.  

  • High-school students, teachers & staff are eligible for vaccination so optional masking seems a reasonable & acceptable accommodation for them.
    Elementary school children are too young for a vaccine. Parents who believe in the CDC & want their children in a classroom that’s compliant need one available. Currently to meet CDC guidance requires 100% masking. Mask optional isn’t currently CDC compliant!
    (doesn’t matter if CDC is BS & masks don’t work. Parents who believe in CDC want their kids in a CDC environment. Believing in CDC is akin to religious belief. Not a lot of room for argument / persuasion.)
    DeSantis “parental choice” is a Hobson’s Choice, not a real choice, where a parent can have their child attend school in a CDC compliant environment if they want. The DeSantis mask optional supposed choice doesn’t meet CDC requirements.
    Middle school falls in the middle!
    Both SBAC & DeSantis need to give elementary school parents the choice between a CDC or mask-optional classroom for their child. (not someone else’s)

  • Maybe we don’t need all these teachers who think this is dangerous. Look how much money we taxpayers could save. Do it virtually with minimal amount of teachers needed. This is the same bunch that says follow the science and they believe men can get pregnant. This is all political. Everything the Dems do is political.

  • lots of folks dictating what OTHER people’s kids should do! Every elementary school parent should have the choice:
    – CDC compliant classroom
    – mask-optional classroom
    No one should dictate that someone else’s child should be exposed to what their parent believes is a health risk! Parents must have a real choice! Not a SBAC or DeSantis Hobson’s Choice!

    • No. Mask wearers get online schooling, non-mask wearers
      Get in class learning…stop with the commie hybrid situation…

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