After implementing a mandatory mask mandate for students, teachers, visitors and staff last week, Sarasota County Schools has updated its medical exemption policy after a Venice chiropractor signed more than 500 medical exemption forms.
The forms signed by Dan Busch, a chiropractor at Twin Palms Chiropractic in Venice, account for more than a third of the total number turned in to the district, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Photos and videos posted on social media this week showed lines wrapping around the outside of the Twin Palms Chiropractic office; one woman told WFLA that pre-signed forms were simply passed out to waiting families and that no one asked to examine her children.
As a result, Sarasota County Schools says it is now only accepting forms from licensed, registered medical doctors (MDs), doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) and nurse practitioners.
"So that we can be consistent in our consideration of whether medical reasons warrant individuals to be exempt from the policy and to prevent abuse, as of Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, the School Board will only accept the updated medical exception form which is available on the district website for parents and employees," Sarasota County Schools superintendent Dr. Brennan Asplen said in a statement issued Tuesday night.
As such, consistent with Florida Statute 1003.22(5)(b) and Subsection 2(c) of the recently-enacted Florida Department of Health Emergency Rule 64DER21-12, the School District will accept such medical certification regarding whether an individual is exempt from the emergency face mask policy only from medical doctors licensed under Chapter 458, Florida Statutes; osteopathic physicians licensed under Chapter 459, Florida Statutes; or advanced registered nurse practitioners licensed under Chapter 464, Florida Statutes," Asplen's statement continued.