Roughly 4% of Orange County students opt out of wearing masks

The first day of school is in the books in Orange County and masks in the classroom are still on everyone's minds.

Masks are required for students at Orange County Public Schools, but parents can opt out. There were about 8,200 notes submitted, which accounts for roughly 4% of students in the district.

"Everyone was wearing masks, but outside people took off their masks. And for P.E., everyone kept it on even though we were apart," one student said.

It's a relief for some parents.

"I believe that if you mask, my kid can have a healthy and happy year, and that's what we're hoping for," one parent said.

Some high school students say there were groups of people that chose not to wear a mask.

Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins says she knows parents are divided.

"I understand the passionate debate on both sides of the argument," she said.

Gov. DeSantis said he wants parents to be able to choose what's best for their kids.

Dr. Jenkins says they're allowing parents to do just that.

"Our board is absolutely committed to the safety of our children and our employees, but they are also clearly understanding their role as constitutionally-elected officers and so what we have in place currently is a strong encouragement mask requirement," Dr. Jenkins said.

The masking requirement is in place for the next 30 days.

Dr. Jenkins said the issue will be revisited before that.

Watch FOX 35 News for the latest Central Florida stories.