Heavy police presence at Florida school board meeting where mask wearers separated from those without masks

Dozens of police officers were standing by as the Palm Beach County School Board held a meeting Wednesday evening with masked and unmasked spectators watching from separate rooms.

A crowd of about 40 people sat in the masked section of the meeting, while people who wanted to go without a face covering were in a room across the parking lot.

The school system is one of several in the state that has a mask mandate, defying Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has said face covering decisions should be left up to parents.

One person arrived with their young daughter wearing a mask that said, “This is a control device.”

One person said he was being denied entry into the meeting because of his signage. He was wearing a “defund the school board” sign around his neck. He said he was told signage was not allowed inside.

Early speakers, most of whom who wore masks, sharply criticized the board for the mandate.

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