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Catholic school children refusing to wear masks will be sent home

Superintendent for Diocese of Palm Beach says mask will be provided to any child who comes to school without it
St. Peter Catholic Church and All Saints Catholic School sign in Jupiter
Posted at 12:56 PM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 13:00:47-04

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Palm Beach said he "expects all students to comply with and adhere to" a temporary mask mandate. Anyone who doesn't will be sent home.

Gary Gelo sent a memorandum to parents and legal guardians Sunday reiterating the mask requirement for all students and faculty while indoors on school campuses and riding school transportation.

Gelo announced Friday that masks would be required beginning Monday for the next 60 days and would be reviewed every 30 days thereafter.

The decision was made two days after the School District of Palm Beach County revised its mask policy, doing away with the option that gave parents the right to choose whether their children should wear masks.

"We understand that some families strongly oppose the masks and some families are proponents of students wearing masks," Gelo wrote. "We have received calls and emails on both sides of this issue."

Gelo then provided parents with recent Florida Department of Health data indicating an upward trend in the number of positive cases per 100,000 in four of the five counties that make up the Diocese of Palm Beach.

"Should your child come to school without a mask, a mask will be given to your child and he/she will be expected to comply and wear the mask," Gelo wrote. "If you or your child refuses, your child will be sent home. Your child will not be allowed to attend class without a mask. Families who fail to comply with these guidelines may be asked to consider other education options for their child."