Hillsborough Schools require masks, allow parents to opt kids out of requirement


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Masks are mandatory in Hillsborough County schools as students head back to class this week.

8 On Your Side reported over the weekend when Superintendent Addison Davis made the announcement.

He tells 8 On Your Side they spoke with the Department of Health and education leaders while deciding the steps they’re allowed to take under Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ executive order.

“In that process we learned a number of elements we can offer within our school district,” explains Davis.

He says it’s how they landed on their current plan requiring masks while still giving parents an option.

“Any of our parents that feel masks are not for them, you know, they have the opportunity to opt out,” he explains.

Some local parents aren’t surprised by the rule change because of the recent increase in COVID-19 cases.

One dad tells 8 On Your Side, “It’s good in some ways. We really appreciate the school board stepping up and watching out for our children.”

Another parents says, “Give people a little bit of freedom and, so, it doesn’t seem like people are being told what to do.”

Parents in Hillsborough County can opt their kids out of the mask requirement by filling out the form at this link: HCPS 2021-2022 Mask Opt-Out Form (office.com)

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