OCPS teachers union to hold pro-mask mandate protest before school board meeting

click to enlarge OCPS teachers union to hold pro-mask mandate protest before school board meeting
Photo via Orange County Classroom Teachers Association/Facebook

Orange County Public Schools' teachers union plans to hold a protest before Tuesday's school board meeting. The Orange County Classroom Teachers Association will gather in front of the school district's main office to demand a mask mandate in area schools.

In a post shared to Facebook, the union said that the board's "lack of urgency and action" directly led to a spike in coronavirus cases in OCPS schools.

"It's like watching firemen argue about what hose to use as the house burns to the ground," said CTA President Wendy Doromal.

In another post, the union made their complaints more explicit. Citing the district's lack of infrastructure to deal with contract tracing and slow walk toward a mask mandate, the union laid recent record numbers of COVID-19 squarely on the school board.

"Your decisions are responsible for the 421 COVID-19 cases reported yesterday (381 student cases). This number broke all previous records for a one-day high in OCPS. In fact, it more than TRIPLED the previous high, which was 125 positive cases on January 19, 2021!" they wrote. "Your decisions are responsible for our children getting sick. Your decisions are responsible for our employees getting sick. Your denial of CDC-recommended guidelines, your failure to notify parents and employees of positive cases in real time, your blotched quarantine system that you blame on FLDOH, your nontransparent COVID-19 dashboard, your lack of urgency to act, and your failure to lead has now caused more illness in our schools, worksites and community."

While other districts have moved forward with mask mandates in spite of orders from the state government, Orange County began the school year with the ability for parents to opt-out of the requirement. Last week, they asked their counsel to research the best way to impose mask rules under recent executive orders.

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