Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Florida will provide private school vouchers to students who don't want to wear face masks

Posted By on Fri, Aug 6, 2021 at 3:43 PM

click to enlarge IMAGE VIA ADOBE STOCK
  • Image via Adobe Stock

The Florida Board of Education voted on Friday to approve a system that would provide private school vouchers for students who feel they are being bullied into following COVID-19 safety procedures.

A unanimous vote by the state board expanded the Hope Scholarships — which provide vouchers to bullied students — in such a way that children being asked to wear face masks can apply. The rule defines "COVID-19 harassment" as a form of bullying and includes testing requirements, masking and isolation as examples.



“‘COVID-19 harassment’ means any threatening, discriminatory, insulting, or dehumanizing verbal, written or physical conduct an individual student suffers in relation to, or as a result of, school district protocols for COVID-19, including masking requirements, the separation or isolation of students, or COVID-19 testing requirements, that have the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance,” the rule states.


The ruling comes as many school districts are working around or outright defying Governor Ron DeSantis' executive order barring mask mandates in Florida schools. Those orders came with a threat of removing funds from schools that decide to require masking for the safety of their students and families. State Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried stated that she's seeking federal funds for these schools, in the event that their funding is removed.

Florida is far and away the national leader in current coronavirus cases and has been the source of more than a fifth of the country's new infections over the last week. In spite of this, DeSantis continues to hold the line that mask mandates are harmful and that the rising numbers of hospitalizations and cases are media-fueled and not reality.




Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 24, 2021

View more issues

Calendar

© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation