Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order effectively barring mask mandates in Florida public schools.
The order is based on the recently passed Parent's Bill of Rights, which grants parents more sway in Florida public schools and makes it illegal to provide health care to children without parental consent. Under the law and the new order the state Commissioner of Education can pull funding from school districts that enforce mask mandates among their students.
"The Florida Commissioner of Education shall pursue all legal means available to ensure school districts adhere to Florida law, including but not limited to withholding state funds from noncompliant school boards violating any rules or agency action taken," the order reads.
DeSantis made his intended target even more obvious in a Coral Gables press conference this morning.
"If you listen to some of the stuff that’s being percolated around the CDC, there’s a movement to try to impose more restrictions on the American people,” DeSantis said. “And I just want to say in Florida, there will be no lockdowns. There will be no school closures. There will be no restrictions or mandates in the state of Florida.”
Florida is currently the COVID-19 capital of the United States. Nearly one out of every five new cases is in the state and doctors' groups have pleaded with the state to impose in-school masking.
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