Now 150 COVID-19 Cases In Palm Beach County Schools, 83 Students, 67 Employees.
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Just weeks after the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association battled administrators over a forced return to in-person teaching, BocaNewsNow.com has learned there’s a new issue: teachers who refuse to wear masks. Masks are required by the Palm Beach County School District.
BocaNewsNow.com has received several reports of teachers who are unmasking throughout the day — not for a quick breath, a few moments of cooling off or time to eat or drink, but teaching for long periods of time without wearing the required facial covering. Students and parents are seeing these teachers as they sit at home taking part in distance learning. While it is not considered to be a widespread issue, it is a matter where a few teachers are feared to be causing potential problems for many.
“There’s no chance my kid is going back to school if the teacher isn’t wearing a mask,” said one parent who tells us she sees her child’s teacher unmask frequently. “I understand (a mask) is annoying, but we’re never going to get back to normal learning if everyone doesn’t follow the rules.”
Another parent provided the photo above of a teacher at a Boca Raton area high school. BocaNewsNow.com asked the teacher for comment and context, but did not receive a response. The teacher works in a school with multiple reported COVID-19 cases.
“The teacher doesn’t believe in wearing masks,” wrote the parent to BocaNewsNow.com.
The Palm Beach County School District reported 150 confirmed COVID-19 cases Saturday morning, with 67 employees testing positive and 83 students.
Most teachers are following the rules and say they have no tolerance for their colleagues who are not.
“I can’t believe we have teachers who aren’t masking,” said one area teacher who wished to remain anonymous. “We’re all trying so hard to stay healthy and provide stability with a hope that we can all be in school again together. Teachers who don’t wear masks are ruining it for the rest of us. They make us all look bad. We’re not. Most of us couldn’t be trying harder. We have ten year olds who are masking all day. If kids can do it, we can do it, too.”
Palm Beach County School District Spokeswoman Claudia Shea told BocaNewsNow.com that rules have not changed. Everyone, including teachers, must wear facial coverings all day. Shea provided the current policy that is required to be followed:
According to PBCSD Policy 3.82 Employee Protocols due to COVID-19
- Face coverings are required to be worn at all times (all employees must provide their own face coverings). Facial coverings should cover your nose and your mouth and comply with the CDC recommendations. All face coverings (whether disposable or reusable) must: be made with at least two (2), but preferably three (3), layers of breathable material; fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face and be secured with ties or ear loops allowing the employees to remain hands-free. At this time, based on guidance from health authorities, neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas and face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind are not acceptable face coverings. The District will provide facial coverings if the employee is unable to provide their own. Please note facial coverings are in addition to, and not a substitute for, the required social distancing. Employees, who are required to work outdoors autonomously and will remain more than ten (10) feet away from others, may be granted a temporary exception to this requirement by their supervisor. A log must be maintained by the supervisor which indicates the name of the employee, date of request and whether the exception was granted or denied.
What are you seeing at school? Please use our reporting form, below. While we appreciate your name for our reporting purposes, we will keep you anonymous upon request.
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