Sarasota County school board votes to continue the mask policy

Sarasota County school board votes to continue the mask policy
Board members vote to approve the continuation of masks at county schools. (Source: wwsb)

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The Sarasota County school board moves to approve the continuation of the mask policy at schools.

The decision came after a long meeting that went well into the night.

“Masks save lives more than anything,” board member Jane Goodwin after saying she’s in support of moving forward with the mask policy.

It was a 3 to 2 decision to move forward with keeping masks mandatory at schools. School board members Bridget Ziegler and Eric Robinson were the two votes against the policy.

“I am very concerned with some of the limitations,” said board member Bridget Ziegler after saying she doesn’t support the policy.

Before coming to that decision protestors on both sides of the issue were present to have their voices heard including students in the county.

“Or do we take the dictator approach which is: I’m a bully, I’m in charge and because I said so. Decide wisely because your careers will depend on it,” said a young student during public comment on Tuesday.

While some were against it, others were for sticking with the mask policy.

“The numbers are going up again and it’s not the right time. I think we need to listen to the experts,” said concerned parent, Melinda Prater.

A group of people in support of masks in the community decided this board meeting they needed to be there to show that there are parents in support of the policy after people against the masks showed up in numbers at the last board meeting.

“The district needs to base their policy on facts, science, and data. Who shouts the loudest is good theatre but it’s a lousy way to make policy,” said Frank.

But several parents against the mask say they should be able to decide if their child should wear one.

“By passing this policy through the end of the year they know that we will have the security of having the mask on for as long as they are needed,” said vice chair Shirley Brown on Tuesday afternoon ahead of the decision.

Brown says the safety and health of students and staff is above politics

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