BPS adapts mask policy while dress code remains rigid


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Brevard Public Schools amended its mask policy Friday.

The Brevard County School Board on Friday again revised its mask-mandate policy, providing an option for parents —  instead of doctors — to sign a form, allowing their students be mask free at school.

Principal Rick Fleming said this new option was put in place because of the decreasing number of COVID cases in the county.

“As far as masks are concerned, it’s an evolving animal,” he said. “Students can now opt out. That changed almost overnight. The cases in our community have been lowered to 50 per 1,000 people.”

Fleming also said he will most likely continue to wear one, hoping that next year COVID will no longer interfere with student activities such as homecoming, which was cancelled this year.

But while mask policies throughout much of the country remain fluid, school dress codes seldom do. While some believe wearing masks at school should be a personal choice, others believe it should be required.

In Southern California, teacher James Bridgeworth recently wrote an essay titled “You made me enforce useless dress codes for years, don’t claim face masks go too far.” Bridgeworth points out that wearing masks makes the learning environment safer, unlike some of the dress code rules which, he regards as unnecessary.

Bridgeworth writes that if there is a need for any kind of dress code rules, masks should be included in those rules. Even as a student, Bridgeworth said he was sentenced to hours of detention just for wearing an untucked shirt.

“If school leaders have historically been willing to enforce school dress code violations that have little to no positive impact on the learning environment, there should be no issue with implementing and enforcing a mask requirement that could potentially save lives,” Bridgeworth writes.

While the Brevard Public Schools mask policies continue to change, despite concerns for classroom safety, dress code policies continue to be routinely enforced.

“Some teachers are more strict with dress code than others,” Fleming said. “But we can only address the issues that we see. The reality is, students outnumber adults in our building. There are 55 of us and almost 1,000 students. I would hope parents would check their children for the dress code before they leave.”

By Anna Burton