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Leon School Kids Will No Longer Have To Quarantine If They're Asymptomatic. The District is Planning To Re-File Its Mask Lawsuit

Rocky Hanna, Leon County Schools
Patrick Stenard
WFSU Public Media
Superintendent of Schools Rocky Hanna holds a press conference at the Leon County School District Office this Monday afternoon to address concerns over changing mask mandates and policies in the wake of a surge in cases brought on by the delta variant of COVID-19.

The Leon County School District will allow asymptomatic children to stay in school. Those students will still have to wear a mask, though. And sick children or those who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 will have to remain home unless they get a clean PCR test. The district's policy change comes after the Florida Department of Health revised its rules governing student quarantines.

"I was really hoping we would have done the quarantine aspect a little sooner," said Leon Superintendent Rocky Hanna. "I feel that we need to be inline or in concert with any Department of Health Rules—we can never be less restrictive, but I feel it's appropriate in some cases, to be more restrictive, which is what we’ve done.”

Still, Hanna remains opposed to additional rule revisions that give parents sole decision-making over school masking. A lawsuit filed by several districts, including Leon, over the issue was recently dismissed. Hanna says he'll sue again. A dozen other Florida districts are presently defying Gov. Ron DeSantis’ attempts to ban mandatory masking in schools.

“I was hoping we could all work as a team to see our state and local communities through this pandemic. I think it's obvious the governor doesn’t want to have a team, he wants a team of one. But I have to do what I think is best for the children of Tallahassee and Leon County," Hanna said.

The district has fought to keep its mandatory mask policy in place, amid mounting pressure from the state and threats of funding cuts and removal from office. Leon Superintendent Rocky Hanna says it’s the hill he’s willing to die on.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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