Broward County School Board Votes to Keep Mask Mandate, Defying Gov. DeSantis

Broward County School Board on Tuesday voted 8-1 to keep its mask mandate in place, defying Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

“Wearing masks inside schools regardless of vaccine status is required to deal with the changing realities of virus transmission. It is a necessary precaution until children under 12 can receive a COVID-19 vaccination and more Americans 12 and older get vaccinated,” Anna Fusco, the Broward Teachers Union President, said in a statement.

Leon and Alachua counties are also enforcing mask mandates in defiance of DeSantis’ order.

A couple weeks ago Ron DeSantis signed an executive order banning mask mandates for students.

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“In Florida, there will be no lockdowns, there will be no school closures, there will be no restrictions and no mandates in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said to cheers last month.

DeSantis also announced an executive order protecting the right of parents to choose whether or not their children wear a mask at school.

“I want to see my kids smiling. I want them having fun,” DeSantis said.

Ron DeSantis on Monday said he will withhold the salaries of superintendents and school board members in a statement to CBS Miami:

“With respect to enforcing any financial consequences for noncompliance of state law regarding these rules and ultimately the rights of parents to make decisions about their children’s education and health care decisions, it would be the goal of the State Board of Education to narrowly tailor any financial consequences to the offense committed. For example, the State Board of Education could move to withhold the salary of the district superintendent or school board members, as a narrowly tailored means to address the decision-makers who led to the violation of law.”

“Education funding is intended to benefit students first and foremost, not systems. The Governor’s priorities are protecting parents’ rights and ensuring that every student has access to a high-quality education that meets their unique needs.”

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