The Manatee County School Board has voted to mandate masks in schools this year, but parents will have the option of opting their children out.

By a 3-2 vote, the board chose to direct Superintendent Cynthia Saunders to install the mandate.

The approach will be similar to that put in place recently by Hillsborough County schools and will be in effect until at least August 25.

School staff will also have the ability to opt out.

You can see how other counties in the Bay area will handle masks in schools by clicking here.