Monroe County School District implements mask mandate for start of school year

District says they will follow state requirement to allow parents to opt out of having children wear masks

MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – As students get ready to return to class Thursday in Monroe County, the school district has informed parents and staff members that they are implementing a mask mandate for at least the next two weeks.

Students and faculty must wear masks while on school grounds and while traveling on school buses.

According to a notice posted on the district’s website, the district will follow the state’s requirement to allow parents the choice to opt out of having their children wear face masks if they choose to.

“The status of the virus will be reexamined on August 24th and every School Board meeting thereafter,” the notice stated.

Parents who do not want their children wearing face masks must fill out an opt out form that will be placed on the school’s district’s Covid Resources page. The form will be available after 4 p.m. Wednesday.

District officials say visitors will not be allowed on school campuses for the first two weeks of school unless otherwise coordinated through school administration.

“We will continue to work closely with the medical community to monitor the level of infection in our county. We will revisit this issue at each School Board Meeting and may make changes as the situation requires it,” the notice stated. “We are committed to providing a quality education to all of our students. We are also committed to providing them with a safe environment in which to learn.

“To that end, we will also be continuing many of the mitigation efforts from last year, such as frequent cleaning, hand washing, distancing (to the extent it is possible), and controlling traffic flow in our hallways and our cafeterias in an effort to keep everyone as safe as possible.”

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Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for