The Pinellas County School Board will not adopt a masking rule for the schools, and will not hold a meeting to consider any such rule at this time.
Board member Caprice Edmond, at Tuesday’s meeting, could not get a second for her motion to impose a 90-day rule that, similar to the one in Hillsborough County, would require medical documentation for any family who wished to opt out.
Edmond then asked for consensus to schedule a special meeting on Sept. 21 before a planned board workshop. Board member Laura Hine, who is also in favor of more aggressive steps to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the schools, wanted to use that time to discuss other mitigation measures as well.
“It’s an opportunity, also, to hear from staff about how things are actually going and to formally hear from health experts, to formally hear from our community,” Hine said.
There was not a consensus to schedule such a meeting, however.
Board chairperson Carol Cook said the board can discuss COVID-19 matters at its workshop. However, workshops are strictly informational and no action can be taken.
This is the second time in recent weeks that Edmond has tried unsuccessfully to push the issue of face coverings. On Aug. 24, the board voted 4-3 against her proposal to hold a special meeting to discuss a 90-day mask mandate.
Pinellas and Polk counties are the two largest school districts in Florida that do not require students and staff to wear masks.