Group plans mask policy protest at Nassau County School Board meeting

Picture shows a screen capture from the video released by Nassau County School District,., (WJXT 2020)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Schools are reevaluating mask mandates for students after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week that masks shouldn’t be required for vaccinated people in most indoor settings.

But, after some confusion, the CDC clarified its position Saturday saying that masks and physical distancing should continue for all schools.

Some school districts, like those in St. Johns and Nassau counties, have opted to keep mask mandates in place until the end of the school year, and not everyone is happy with the decision.

According to a Facebook post, a small group of Nassau County parents is attempting to organize a protest ahead of a school board meeting on May 27.

“If you care about preserving our kid’s health freedom and their mental/psychological health and well-being... it’s time to stop talking about it online and start taking action,” the post, organized by Parents’ Coalition for Free Breathing in Nassau County Public Schools, reads. “There are countless schools across the nation, across the world maskless right now, children going to school normally, yet our school board continues to use our children as political pawns.”

A similar heated protest happened during a St. Johns County School Board meeting last week.

While the St. Johns County School District opted to keep its mask mandate is in place until the end of the current school year, St. Johns County superintendent Tim Forson said Friday the mask requirement, along with other COVID-19 protocols, will be dropped for students starting during summer school in June.

That could change if variants increase over the summer, he said.

Other school districts are also keeping requirements in place for now while they come up with a plan for this fall while others are making masks optional.

Here’s where local districts stand:

Masks Still Required In Schools: Duval, Clay, Nassau, St. Johns, Putnam, Glynn County

Masks Optional: Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Union, Brantley, Camden, Charlton, Pierce, Ware

Nassau County’s school district told News4Jax it plans to get input from the community and local health departments before making a final decision in the coming weeks.

The Duval County school district launched a survey recently to ask stakeholders what they want to see in the fall. The survey is available on the district website and will be open until May 24.

The district said the feedback will help guide the decisions on how it opens school this fall.

Schools are reevaluating student mask mandates after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week that masks shouldn’t be required for fully vaccinated people in most indoor settings.

About the Author:

Digital reporter who has lived in Jacksonville for more than 25 years and focuses on important local issues like education and the environment.