Some Clay County parents raise concerns over student mask mandate

Clay County school district mandates student masks

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — In a 3-2 vote, Tuesday, The Clay County School Board passed a plan for reopening schools this fall on August 25, 2020.

Part of the plan mandates masks for students in grades 3 through 12. While grades pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade are not required to wear a mask, it is strongly encouraged when its difficult to social distance.

Some Clay County parents, specifically those who have a child in the exceptional student education ESE programs, have concerns.

Content Continues Below

Social Distancing maintained - Under any circumstance where social distancing practices (six (6) feet of separation) can be utilized and maintained consistently.

Infants – This is defined as children under two (2) years of age.

Students in Pre-K through grade 2 - It is STRONGLY recommended that students in these grade levels wear a face covering but is not required. Social distancing shall be maintained.

Driving alone in District Vehicles - Defined as with no passengers in the vehicle.

Indoors with Social Distancing - Examples: classroom, restroom, locker room, administrative offices.

Outdoors with Social Distancing - Examples: Athletic field, parking lot, waiting at parent pickup line.

During scheduled mealtimes – No face covering required while actually eating and maintaining social distance. Walking to cafeteria or other meal site, waiting in lines for food, socializing before and after meals; a face covering is required.

During Strenuous physical Activity – Examples: Physical education or participation in athletic events that require physical exertion.

While performing in a musical or theatrical production – During actual performance and limited circumstances during practice with a wind instrument or vocal performance.

When in a state of Physical crises or physical disability - Examples: unconscious, difficulty breathing or otherwise physically incapacitated.

Medical, emotional, physical or psychological condition – This requires either a certification by a medical provider, an affected adult or by a parent of an affected student that a condition listed herein exists and contraindicates utilization of face coverings and prevents the individual from being able to safely wear a face covering. This will require a commitment of the affected adult or parent of an affected student to ensure strict practice of social distancing.

NOTE! ESE/Special Needs Classes - In classes where utilization of either social distancing or face coverings by the student is a practical impossibility, due to the nature of the classroom and/or students, it is critical that the teachers/aids utilize face covering for themselves to the maximum extent possible. In this situation the use of hand sanitizing, environmental cleaning as well as monitoring children for signs or symptoms of illness are more critically needed.