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Florida Schools Implement Mask Mandates Despite Opposition from DeSantis

Credit: Unsplash

Following Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ legislation prohibiting public school districts from enforcing mask mandates, there has been an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases among students and faculty members. In response to concerns about the safety of students and staff, many public school districts have chosen to impose mask mandates despite DeSantis’ actions.

Presently, ten public school districts in Florida have implemented mandatory mask-wearing for all individuals on school premises, except for those with medical documentation for special health circumstances. The most recent counties to adopt these mandates are Orange and Indian River counties, bringing the total number of districts with individual mask requirements to a majority in the state.

The Florida Department of Education has issued a warning, stating they may withhold a portion of the school board members’ salaries who voted for the unlawful mask mandates. The Governor’s press secretary, Christina Pushaw, criticized these school districts for defying DeSantis’ legislation, emphasizing that everyone, including school board officials, must abide by the law.

Despite the opposition, many government and medical experts support the decision of the schools. Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse from Mayo Clinic reiterated the importance of wearing masks, citing multiple studies confirming no adverse effects on children’s health. Additionally, US Education Secretary Miguel Cardona pledged assistance to any district facing consequences for following the CDC’s mask guidelines.

In a statement, Cardona expressed concern over state leaders prioritizing politics over student health and safety, criticizing the punishment of educators for taking necessary precautions.

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