Every school district in Florida that attempted to defy Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) administration and faced subsequent consequences has dropped their mask requirements in schools.
After months of battles, every school district defying the administration, including Broward, Alachua Broward, and Miami-Dade counties, have dropped their mandatory masking requirement for students after the Florida Department of Education “voted to withhold funding from after they imposed strict mask mandates despite a state order prohibiting them,” as Forbes reported:
The Florida Department of Education has not yet responded to a request for comment on whether funding will be restored to the Florida school districts now that their mask orders are lifted. The state has been withholding an amount of funds every month equivalent to the school board members’ salaries and any federal grants the district receives for their Covid-19 measures.
Indeed, Miami-Dade is among the latest to drop the requirement, allowing parents to fill out a form to opt their children out of mandatory mask wearing in school:
Important update for parents and employees! @MDCPS announces new #COVID19 safety protocols. Opt-out forms can be downloaded at https://t.co/cLimEggthp or obtained at your child’s school. pic.twitter.com/AJMkCgzYLC
— Miami-Dade Schools (@MDCPS) November 9, 2021
However, Miami-Dade Public Schools’ website emphasizes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “continues to recommend universal masking in schools, regardless of vaccination status.”
DeSantis has long maintained that forced masking in schools would not be tolerated in the Sunshine State, contending there is “not very much science” behind the practice.
“We want kids to be able to be kids,” he explained during a news conference at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Florida, in July. “We need them to be able to breathe. It’s terribly uncomfortable for them to do it. There’s not very much science behind it.”
“I think it’s really important that — parents can obviously equip their kid to go to school however they want, but there shouldn’t be any coercive mandates on our schools,” he continued.
“Obviously people can — parents can make decisions how they want to, we wouldn’t restrict that, but we certainly will not have any mandates on students and on parents in the upcoming school year,” the Republican governor added, sticking to his position throughout the school year.