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East County Tuesday, May 25, 2021 4 months ago

School Board of Manatee County expected to remove mask mandate

The School Board of Manatee County, which voiced unanimous support to remove the mask policty, will vote Friday to make its decision official.
by: Liz Ramos Staff Writer

The School Board of Manatee County voiced its intention to remove the School District of Manatee County's mask mandate at a board meeting Tuesday, but the decision won't become official until a vote at a special meeting on Friday. 

After more than two hours of listening to public comments, of which a majority were against the mask mandate, the board unanimously decided to remove the mask mandate from its communicable diseases policy. 

The mask mandate, which was put in place days before the school year began Aug. 17, requires students to wear masks while on school property and buses. 

"I do think the board made a decision it needed to make in order to reopen schools," said Gina Messenger, a member of the school board. "There is no point in rehashing this. ... I support removing the section. It's the simplest and cleanest way of dealing with this."

Although all five board members voiced support of removing the mask mandate, the board didn't advertise its intent to amend the mask policy until April 30 and the board is required to wait 28 days or more to changed the policy, which is what required Friday's meeting to make the decision physical.


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