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LEE COUNTY, Fla. – The Lee County School District will now require masks for teachers and students, eliminating the opt-out form.

The school superintendent made the announcement Monday. The new COVID-19 protocol will go into effect for 30 days and will start on Sept. 1.

School officials said if students or staff don’t wear masks, they will follow the same process used last year as well as provide options for families if this is an ongoing issue. There could be disciplinary actions depending on the situation. Employees will have progressive discipline that will be addressed if they don’t follow the mandate.

There will be a medical opt-out for the mask mandate, Lee school officials confirmed. A letter on this is expected to go out to parents Tuesday after more discussion.

Physical fights were seen being broken up outside of the district’s headquarters after the mask mandate was announced. See new video NBC2 received from “Parents of Informed Choice SWFL.”

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Lee County is the 12th school district in Florida to require masks in schools.

A total of 1,616,869 students throughout Florida are now under a mask mandate, which means over 50 percent of students enrolled in public school this year are required to wear masks.

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Lee County School officials will be holding a school board meeting Monday evening. So far, 60 people have signed up for public comment.

SEE THE COVID-19 CASES REPORTED WITH LEE COUNTY SCHOOLS

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