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Florida Schools Implement Mask Mandates Against DeSantis’ Orders

Credit: Unsplash

After Florida Governor Ron DeSantis prohibited public school districts from enforcing mask mandates in July, there has been a notable increase in COVID-19 cases among students and staff. Consequently, several school districts have decided to implement mask mandates in defiance of DeSantis’ directive to ensure the safety of students and staff.

At present, ten public school districts in Florida have mandated masks for all students and staff on school premises, except for those with a medical note citing a specific condition. The most recent additions to this list are Orange and Indian River counties, bringing the total number of districts with mask mandates to the majority in Florida.

The Florida Department of Education has threatened financial penalties against school board members who vote to impose these mask mandates, withholding a portion of their annual compensation monthly. Administration representatives have criticized the schools for disregarding DeSantis’ mandate, with Christina Pushaw, the governor’s press secretary, stating, “Nobody is above the law, not even school board politicians.”

Despite opposition from state officials, prominent governmental and medical figures strongly support the schools’ decision. Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse from the Mayo Clinic emphasized the importance of mask-wearing, stating, “Numerous studies have unequivocally shown that there are no negative health effects on children from wearing a mask.”

US Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, representing the Biden Administration, pledged to assist districts facing consequences for adhering to the CDC’s mask recommendations.

“It is deeply troubling to see state leaders prioritizing politics over the well-being of our students. Instead of supporting educators for their responsible actions, state leaders are attempting to penalize them,” Cardona expressed in a statement.

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