TSR Politics: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed an executive order today that bans local school districts from requiring students to wear masks ahead of the fall semester.
DeSantis’ order came days after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance recommending that all students and teachers as well as staffers in K-12 schools wear face coverings come the fall, according to the New York Post.
“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 during an unrelated press event, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “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.”
School boards that do not comply with DeSantis’ order may be subject to having state funds withheld.
DeSantis cited the Sunshine State’s Parents’ Bill of Rights in his executive order, adding in a statement, “It is prudent to protect the ability of parents to make decisions regarding the wearing of masks by their children.”
The Florida Education Association spoke out against the order.
“We reject that kind of thinking. Instead, we ask Gov. DeSantis to allow all Florida’s citizens to have a voice by empowering the elected leaders of cities, counties and school districts to make health and safety decisions locally based on their unique needs and circumstances,” FEA President Andrew Spar said in a statement.
Florida has seen a recent climb in cases of COVID-19, with 17,589 new cases Wednesday, a high that has not been seen since January, the Sentinel reported.
In all, 61 percent of Florida residents have been vaccinated, according to a COVID-19 report by the state.
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