Florida Educrats Continue Their Insurrection Against the Lawful Directives of Gov. DeSantis

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

A couple of days ago, I posted on a political war looming in Florida, as parts of the education establishment there continues to try to sabotage the efforts of Governor Ron DeSantis to react to the Wuhan pandemic based on science and not on whatever panic-filled article happened to appear on the front page of the Miami Herald or New York Times on a particular day. The post is Ron DeSantis Faces an Insurrection by Florida School Boards Over Their Mask Mandates. Will He Fold or Double Down? and this is the story.

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 County 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.

I pointed out that the Alachua school board meeting had all the spontaneity of a Soviet Politburo session. Every single one of the parents who testified favored the mask mandate, and all wore their masks. Skip through this video of the meeting and see for yourself.

Then 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 by giving parent opt-out authority and the right to take the education money that is programmed to educate their child and move it outside the public school system. My colleague Bonchie has that story, Ron DeSantis Counter-Strikes Mutinous, Anti-Science School Districts. The parental opt-out order issued by the Florida Department of Health is below.

That rule says, “[students] may wear masks or facial coverings as a mitigation measure; however, the school must allow for a parent or legal guardian of the student to opt-out the student from wearing a face covering or mask.” It goes on to say that students who elect not to mask must not be harassed or discriminated against. They can’t be segregated from the student body; they can’t be isolated during classes or activities, and they can’t be excluded from school-sponsored activities.

As I opined yesterday, I was skeptical that DeSantis’ efforts to reach an agreement with the insurrectionist school districts would be successful. These people, I wrote, always confuse dialog and kindness with weakness. And their actions indicated that they were more interested in a fight than a solution. Allowing parents to withdraw from the public school system and take the money dedicated to their children with them is a good thing, but the real issue here is the open revolt of education functionaries against the governor.

Today, the Alachua County school board made it clear that it was not going along with either DeSantis’ order or the rule issued by the Florida Department of Health.

In defiance of the emergency rule released yesterday by the Florida Department of Health, Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS) has let parents know that a physician’s signature is still required to opt out of their school mask requirement.

The rule specifically states that students “may wear masks or facial coverings as a mitigation measure; however, the school must allow for a parent or legal guardian of the student to opt-out the student from wearing a face covering or mask.”

In response, ACPS sent out an email to families reminding them that the “mask requirement for students will remain in effect for the first two weeks of school and for all adults on ACPS property through September 17.” The email says families have two ways to opt out of the mask requirement: 1) Applying for a Florida Hope Scholarship to attend a private school or a school in a different district; and 2) Submitting the Student Mask Opt-Out Medical Exemption form, which “must be signed by a licensed medical doctor, a licensed osteopathic physician or a licensed advanced registered nurse practitioner. “

And it looks like the plan is to bully the kids into submission.

I don’t think DeSantis can allow himself to be punked by a school board and be taken seriously. He’s signed an executive order forbidding them to take this action. His health department has issued a legally binding rule saying that masks cannot be required. The school board has told them all to FOAD. If DeSantis allows himself to get rolled by these clowns, he does not deserve our support in the future.