Groups call on Leon County Schools to ‘keep kids masked’
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Community activists in Tallahassee are calling for Leon County Schools to require masks for students at the start of the school year.
School superintendent Rocky Hanna announced on June 11 that masks will be optional for the 2021-22 school year. This week, the district reaffirmed that plan.
The Tallahassee Community Action Committee points out the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that everyone in a school setting, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, should wear masks. The coronavirus vaccine is still not available to kids under the age of 12.
“Hanna made this decision without consulting with LCS Board, teachers, parents or staff,” TCAC said in a press release. “He mentioned discussing his decision with the Department of Health, but officials at the DOH have stated they did not make this recommendation.”
“The CDC recommends that all unvaccinated persons should remain masked while indoors,” the release says. “Schools should at least wait for a vaccine to become available for children in order to lift the mask mandate.”
TCAC plans to discuss their concerns at a press conference scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at Tallahassee’s City Hall, joined by Leon for a Safe Return to Campus and Tallahassee NOW.
The push for masks in schools comes just a day after Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare reopened its COVID-19 unit.
TMH and Capital Regional Medical Center released a statement Wednesday, saying it’s crucial for everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they can. The hospitals warned the public about the delta variant’s presence in the area.
LCS public information officer Chris Petley told WCTV Thursday nearly 80% of Leon County School staff have been vaccinated.
“The District continuously meets with the Leon County Department of Health and monitors recommendations by leading health experts. Though not anticipated at this moment, LCS will swiftly notify our community if there are any changes to the mask policy in the future,” Petley said.
The first day of school for LCS is August 11.
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