Parents, school board members prepare for emergency meeting to reconsider masks in schools

Parents want the mandate lifted immediately
Teachers union calling for masks to be worn at all times in school
Posted at 9:18 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 23:29:38-04

STUART, Fla. — Parents and school board members are preparing for an emergency meeting in Martin County.

On Wednesday, a decision will be made whether or not to require masks for the rest of the school year and the summer.

Some parents want the mandate lifted immediately.

"We want it now," said Regan Chatel, a parent. Right now, instead of waiting for a decision at the beginning of August.

Chatel said parents want to know the policy for the Fall before it's too late to pull their children from the district.

"My younger one, he does come home with headaches, a lot," said Chatel. "Several times a week."

Chatel started a petition to unmask kids in Martin County Schools nearly a month ago.

So far, it has over 750 signatures.

RELATED: Children shouldn't wear face masks in school, Florida's governor says

"I know we made ourselves heard," said Chatel. "I think they may reconsider unmasking the kids for the rest of the year even though there isn't much time left."

In an interview, district officials told WPTV/WFLX that their current reopening plan remains in effect.

That includes the mask rules in place now for months.

If the mandate is repealed at Wednesday's emergency meeting, there would be little time left this school year and the board will need to seek legal advice on how to proceed.

All of this would need to be completed before the end of school on May 28.

"We welcome the public to come and speak with civility to the board," said Martin County School District Board Chair Marsha Powers.

Since August 2020, there have been 413 cases inside Martin County Schools.

"I think it would be silly to change course at this point," said Karen Resciniti, Teacher's Union President. "I hope the board does not feel pressured into making a hasty decision, one that could have to be overturned based on our status in July or August."

District officials said barring a spike in cases this summer, they intend to make masks optional for next fall.