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Florida Schools Implement Mask Mandates Despite Opposition from DeSantis

Credit: Unsplash

Following Governor Ron DeSantis’ ban on mandating masks in Florida public schools, there has been a notable increase in COVID-19 cases among students and staff. Consequently, several school districts have chosen to enforce mask mandates in defiance of DeSantis’ directive to prioritize the safety of students and staff.

Currently, ten public school districts in Florida are mandating masks for all students and staff while allowing exceptions for medical reasons. Orange and Indian River counties are the latest additions to this list, resulting in a majority of Florida’s public schools implementing individual mask mandates.

The Florida Department of Education has threatened to withhold funding from school board members who vote to impose these mask mandates, citing them as unlawful. The governor’s press secretary, Christina Pushaw, has criticized the schools for disregarding DeSantis’ ban, emphasizing that no one is exempt from the law, including school board members.

Despite the opposition, prominent governmental and medical figures support the schools’ decision. Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse from the Mayo Clinic emphasized the importance of mask-wearing, citing multiple studies that have shown no adverse health effects on children from wearing masks.

US Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, speaking on behalf of the Biden Administration, pledged to aid districts facing repercussions for following the CDC’s mask recommendations.

Cardona expressed concern over state leaders prioritizing politics over student health and safety, stating, “It is deeply troubling to see state leaders putting politics ahead of the health and safety of our students, and that instead of supporting our educators for doing the right thing, state leaders are trying to punish them.”

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