Protective barriers would separate students under plan considered by Brevard County schools

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, there are new products on the market that schools can use when they reopen.

One such product that is a bit controversial will be implemented in Duval County. Student desk partitions are also being considered for use in Brevard County.

A Florida company named Drummond Inc. makes small walls that keep students in their own private space. A European company, Smutfit Kappa, has a line of the barriers, too.

We checked with the school districts in Central Central. In addition to Brevard County, Orange ad Polk counties said they are looking at this option. In Flagler, Lake, and Volusia counties, they are not part of the reopening plan.

Jennifer Mayer, of Port St. John, is a mother of two elementary school kids. We talked about the possibility of desk partitions on Space Coast. She’s concerned.

“Boredom. I don’t think we’re going to able to do a full day of school with kids sitting in a little cubby by themselves.” Mayer said.

She wants the children to wear masks at school, at all times, except meals.

Melinda Gumbs agrees. She worries partitions would not be as effective as masks. And she says they should not be used instead of masks.

“Because some kids don’t really understand what’s going on,” Gumbs said.

In Brevard County, the Brevard Federation of Teachers said the district is doing a good job including them in their plans. As partitions are being discussed, a recent survey of Brevard teachers finds that 40% self identifies as high risk for COVID-19 complications.

In Duval County, the partitions are going to cost about $4 million, but the county plans to use money from the Cares Act to fund that.