Broward County school board members have until Tuesday morning to either change their stance on masks or face the penalties.
“I hate that it’s gotten to this point because what we really want to do is focus on accelerating learning for our students,” said Dr. Rosalind Osgood, Broward County school board member.
Osgood added that the school board believes it is in the right asking teachers and students in the district to wear masks in the classroom for their protection.
“It is very clear to us in the State Constitution, that it gives local school board members the authority to put policy in place for local school districts,” said Osgood.
She said the district is confident they are following the law by allowing students with disabilities or medical needs to have the option to not mask up.
On Tuesday, they will send their decision to the state. Legal action is the next step, and the board plans to challenge the Governor’s executive order in the courts, Osgood said.
“We believe strongly that we’re saving lives that we’re protecting people’s lives,” said Osgood.
In Leon County, a judge heard both sides of the issue Monday. The hearing is underway about whether Florida school districts should be able to set a mask mandate.
“According to the Florida constitution’s provisions, each local school board and only each local school board should be able to decide for each district whether masks should be mandatory,” said Charles Dodson, an attorney for the plaintiffs.
“We’ll also show that both the executive order and emergency rule further a legitimate governmental purpose, that is protecting parent’s rights,” said Michael Abel, attorney for the state of Florida.
If the penalties do happen, the financial loss would equal about $31,000 a month total from the salaries of the eight school board members.