Ron DeSantis Faces an Insurrection by Florida School Boards Over Their Mask Mandates. Will He Fold or Double Down?

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Throughout the entire Wuhan virus melodrama, there have been several consistent themes. The main one, which I’ve posted on several times, is that the people making policy about the Wuhan virus don’t care if you live or die (in fact, as shown by the Democrat governments of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Michigan, they initially looked at the Wuhan virus as a way to reduce costs by housing communicable Wuhan virus patients with the vulnerable nursing home residents), what they want is to limit your ability to resist their orders. Another theme has been the aggrandizement of power (the CDC unilaterally imposing an eviction moratorium on private property). Another has been the way the various teachers’ unions have used the “pandemic” as a tool to increase salaries, reduce the amount of work expected of teachers, and weaponized children’s health to attempt to damage some governors.

One such drama is playing out in Florida.

By any standard, Governor Ron DeSantis has been a total rock star in his response to the Wuhan virus. He is the anti-Asa-Hutchinson (see Asa Hutchinson Folds Like a Cheap Suit to Preserve His ‘Reasonable Conservative’ Credentials). Like just about everyone, he initially went along with the bullsh** put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But, as more information became available and it became obvious that morons were giving us direction, DeSantis went his own way. He reopened Florida and stopped the ability of fascist Democrat mayors to demand that citizens tattoo 666 on their forehead wear face masks as the price for moving around outside. He went so far as to set aside civil penalties imposed for violating mask edicts. He is currently embroiled in a legal fight well worth fighting with the CDC over their attempt to make customers of cruise lines provide proof of vaccination before they can board a ship.

Last week, the CDC promulgated new guidance that schools should again require staff and students to wear face masks. This is despite the lack of empirical evidence from a controlled trial that demonstrates masks have any effect whatsoever on the transmission of the Wuhan virus.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its mask guidelines Tuesday for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, citing new information about the ability of the delta variant to spread by those who have been vaccinated.

The CDC is now recommending that vaccinated people wear masks indoors again in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging and that everyone in K-12 schools wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the high transmissibility of the delta variant is behind the agency’s change in guidelines.

The day after CDC released its new diktat, Broward County schools announced they would impose a mask mandate. The reasoning was allegedly to protect children, but the real agenda was to stick a thumb in DeSantis’ eye.

School board members in Broward County held a special meeting Wednesday to discuss mask-wearing, a day after roughly two dozen mask opponents disrupted the meeting in screaming matches and burned masks outside the building. Board members agreed to continue requiring masks for at least the beginning of the school year, making it the first district in the state to do so. Miami-Dade school officials have said they’re reconsidering their mask policy following the recent CDC recommendations, but no decision has been made.

DeSantis responded by issuing an executive order forbidding school districts from instituting mask mandates and threatening school funding for non-compliance.

Executive Order 21 175 by streiff at redstate on Scribd

Broward counted folded.

A South Florida school district that voted last week to require facial coverings when in-person learning resumes this month now says it will comply with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order preventing mask mandates in schools, rather than enforce the recommendation of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Broward County Public Schools intends to comply with the Governor’s latest Executive Order,’’ says the district statement, released Monday afternoon.

There has been a bizarre turn of events. Two other Florida counties, Alachua (Gainesville) and Duval (Jacksonville), elected to directly confront DeSantis and effectively dare him to remove state funding.

Just a note on the Alachua school board meeting. There seems to be some industrial-scale AstroTurfing going on here. Every single one of the parents who testified favored the mask mandate and, like good little commies, all wore their masks. You can skip through this video of the meeting and see for yourself.

Broward County suddenly decided that it didn’t really mean to comply with the Governor’s executive order.

The fight over requiring masks in Broward County Public Schools continued Wednesday, with the district insisting that their facial covering policy remains in place for the time being.

In a statement, the district said masks are still required in schools and facilities, but said they’re still awaiting further guidance before making a decision on requiring masks for the upcoming school year.

DeSantis looks like he’s trying to accommodate school districts while sorta holding a line:

DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw told WJXT that the state was “finalizing health and education emergency rules that do not prohibit masks in schools but will require parents to have the right to opt their children out.”

The seeming rhetorical relaxation came after a more sweeping statement Tuesday evening, as districts deliberated how to get around what was presented as a categorical ban on mask mandates in schools.

“Even if a school board passes a ‘mask mandate,’ they will not be able to enforce it, because the choice will be up to parents whether their children wear masks or not,” Pushaw said when asked about Duval Tuesday evening, noting that the matter is one of rulemaking between the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Education at this point.

That rulemaking, she said, would require optionality, seemingly without mandates or “opt outs” from implied rules.

“Some parents will choose to mask their children,” Pushaw said, while others will “follow the science and data that shows masking can have serious adverse effects, with limited data demonstrating any benefits in the school setting.”

“School districts are within their rights to recommend the wearing of masks on their campus. They just cannot require students to wear masks,” Pushaw said.

I’m obviously not privy to what Governor DeSantis is planning, but I can make some observations.

These people always confuse dialog and kindness with weakness. They know they don’t try to make an accommodation with opposing views unless they are weak and when they have the power they impose their will. They assume everyone else works in the same way.

Parents had the right under DeSantis’s executive order to make their kids wear masks or underwear on their heads or a lot of other things. The fact that these school boards passed mask mandates in defiance of the executive order without an “opt out” clause shows they were more interested in a fight than a solution.

Is DeSantis’ offer one those school districts will accept? I submit the answer to that is no and that any “rulemaking” that provides an “opt-out” feature will be rejected by the school boards who have voted for a mask mandate. Worse, it will result in students who do opt-out being ostracized and bullied by the school administration.

I’m not sure this gambit answers the mail:

because a) a lot of parents don’t have an alternative to public schools and b) it makes official the practice of a school board telling the governor to GFY.

In the not too distant future, DeSantis will either fold or he will be forced to carry out his threat to pull funding from mutinous school districts. Will he live up to the reputation he has established (Ron DeSantis Solidifies His Position as the Most Based Human Being on the Planet)? Or will he go Kristi Noem on us? Let’s hope he chooses correctly.