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Can A Duval Student Ask To Sit Away From One Who's Unmasked? District Says 'No'

Chris O'Meara
In this Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021 file photo, Students, some wearing protective masks, arrive for the first day of school at Sessums Elementary School in Riverview, Fla.

More than 8,000 students have opted out of wearing masks within Duval County Public Schools within the second week of school — a small number representing only about 6.5 percent of the 125,000 students on campus. But teachers say the numbers are disproportionately dispersed classroom-to-classroom.

In teacher Andrew Mathis' Oceanway Elementary classes, he says about eight of his 47 students — 16 percent — have opted-out of wearing masks. 

"Our elementary children aren't vaccinated and now some are also without masks," Mathis told The Times-Union. "I know the district wanted to make masks a mandate. Last year I found it easy to enforce. It wasn't a problem to say, 'Put your mask on.' Everyone was doing the same thing." 

Read the rest of this story from WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union