‘It’s ever changing’: Leon County Schools unveils new round of COVID guidelines to fall within new state rules

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 5:33 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Masks are on in Leon County classrooms: The district announced Monday that mask requirements will remain in effect, at least through the end of next month.

Monday’s announcement is the latest update in local COVID-19 safety protocols, despite a number of changes handed down at the state level.

Not only will masks continue to be required through the end of October, but now any student that is exposed but is asymptomatic and tests negative can come back to the classroom, as long as they remain masked.

“It’s this ever changing,” said Leon County parent Kyle Whaley. “Even if you try and follow the science, you’ve got this side and this side.”

Whaley is the father of a fourth-grade Leon County student who has been quarantined since Wednesday after being identified through contact tracing.

“We dealt with that, and then ray of hope that last night the test comes back in through the email, and she can go to school, and now I’m sitting at home with her today,” Whaley said.

“At every turn, we are following the emergency rule,” Leon County Superintendent Rocky Hanna said when announcing the district’s new COVID policies. “However, in some cases, we are being just a bit more restrictive.”

Last week, the district received a letter from the state Department of Education saying it continues to investigate school policies and threatening to withhold funding if they do not comply with the rules.

Hanna called the governor’s decision an abuse of power and says no amount of money is worth people’s lives being at risk.

“At every turn, the governor has used his authority for his own personal political agenda. We’re going to do what we feel is the best interest of our children, and the best interest of our families here in Tallahassee and Leon County,” Hanna said.

WCTV reached out to the Governor’s Office for a response to Hanna’s remakes Monday, and a spokesperson says that this is not a matter of compromise and that there is no testing or masking requirements for asymptomatic students.

The spokesperson added that superintendents do not have the authority to unilaterally add such requirements.

Hanna’s full remarks can be heard below.

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