As the school mask mandate debate continues externally, there’s an interesting dynamic that’s played out internally in the Palm Beach County School District. Palm Beach County is a unique example because the district started the school year with a parental opt-out for masks before attempting to put that genie back in the bottle. At the time of the reversal, Palm Beach County’s new superintendent who’s already illustrated questionable judgment stated that unmasked students were spreading the virus to unmasked students.
As I pointed out at the time, in addition to attempting to bully students and parents into this mask world view through that type of commentary, he was making it up. That’s because the district didn’t have or keep any records pertaining to kids who’d opted out and contracted COVID-19 let alone had contract tracers confirm the unmasked kids were responsible. But hey, why let facts get in the way of some good shaming and slander, right Mr. Superintendent?
So, what’s actually happened in Palm Beach County schools since the mask mandate went into place? Cases have risen. Considerably. The average daily number of new COVID-19 cases detected by the Palm Beach County School District while masks were optional within eight school days is149. The average daily number of new COVID-19 cases detected by the Palm Beach County School District since masks have been mandatory within seven school days is 241.
Now, because the Palm Beach County School District may not be any better at math than they are with the truth, that’s bad. At least as school districts are attempting to assert mandatory mask policies work to stop the spread of COVID-19 at school. The Palm Beach County School District has seen 92 more students per day on average test positive for COVID-19 since they instituted the mandatory mask policy.
For the fact and mathematically impaired superintendent and school board, that’s a 62% increase in students testing positive for COVID-19 since their mask mandate policy was instituted. I’d love to hear the explanation for this one. Better still, the school district is bent on paying an “elite” outside law firm to sue the state to attempt to continue this failed policy. Michael Burke owes all of us, but especially those students he bullied and slandered another apology, followed by a resignation.