WATCH: A Time for ‘Bold Steps’ — District Leaders, Experts Describe Reopening Schools As COVID Cases Surge, Mask Fights Continue

As officials in Broward County, Florida, approached the 2021-2022 school year, they did so with a measure of optimism.

According to School Board Chair Rosalind Osgood, educators and district leaders had “a lot of hope about moving our students back into face-to-face school environments in their loving school families and communities where we could love and support each other and help each other academically, where we could provide the mental health support that we need.”

But as the first day of school got closer and fights broke out over masks in her state, that hope started to fray.

“It has been horrific for board members,” Osgood said Thursday during a panel discussion co-sponsored by The 74 and the Progressive Policy Institute that examined the question of how to restart education safely despite the ongoing threat of COVID-19.

Watch the full conversation to hear from Osgood and other district leaders — as well as a doctor and economist — about reopening amid the Delta variant and showdowns over masks.

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