The insurrection by some Florida school boards against the lawful authority of Governor Ron DeSantis is heating up.
Briefly, what happened was that Governor DeSantis issued an executive order forbidding school districts from creating a so-called mask mandate. The order allowed the schools to encourage masks but, sanely, gave parents the ability to opt-out. This is a quintessentially conservative position. We know that wearing a rooster on your head does about as much to prevent the spread of any respiratory virus as wearing a mask. Arguably, the rooster does more if he is flapping his wings. That doesn’t mean you can’t wear a rooster or a mask if you want to. What it does mean is that you don’t have the right to make my kid wear a mask just so you can feel good about yourself. Some of the lower-wattage blue checks were unclear on this concept.
allowing parent to make their kids wear masks or opt out of wearing them is conservative. You telling me what to do with my kids is borderline totalitarian
— streiff (@streiffredstate) August 9, 2021
Broward County went ahead and voted to establish a mask mandate. Then the state attorney general had a chat with them, and they changed their minds. Then some other Florida counties decided to go insurrectionist. Duval (Jacksonville), Alachua (Gainesville), Leon (Tallahassee), and Gadsden (suburban Tallahassee) counties voted to impose a mask mandate, and Broward changed its mind and reimposed a mask mandate by an 8-1 vote (see Ron DeSantis Faces an Insurrection by Florida School Boards Over Their Mask Mandates. Will He Fold or Double Down? and Florida Educrats Continue Their Insurrection Against the Lawful Directives of Gov. DeSantis).
From there, things started to escalate. The State Board of Education authorized vouchers for kids in districts defying the law (Ron DeSantis Counter-Strikes Mutinous, Anti-Science School Districts) and he ordered the State Board of Education to look into docking the pay of school boards that voted to defy his lawful order (see Ron DeSantis Reveals His Next Move in Fight Against Mutinous School Districts). The Florida Board of Education has since notified Broward County of its intent to do so, see Ron DeSantis Hits Law-Breaking School Districts Hard With Latest Move.
The Miami Herald reports that similar letters have been sent to the other insurrectionist school boards.
Broward County doubled down.
— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) August 10, 2021
Earlier today, Broward County’s school board announced it had hired outside counsel.
Broward County Public Schools has directed its lawyers to challenge the ban on mask mandates, Rosalind Osgood, chair of the school board, said at a press conference Tuesday.
Osgood spoke to the ABC News podcast “Start Here” and expressed her determination to stand up to the state’s threats.
“I personally can’t be bullied into parochial self-interest to make a decision where I put myself ahead of the lives of other people,” Osgood said in the interview, which aired Wednesday. “There is no monetary value that you can put on somebody’s life.”
Leon County has folded and permitted the opt-out system the governor required. Alachua County is making tiny whimpering puppy-like noises, but they look to be on their way to folding, too.
Into this mix stumbles Joe Biden.
What’s going on with Joe Biden? pic.twitter.com/W8CIVkrRUr
— Ian Miles Cheong @ stillgray.substack.com (@stillgray) August 11, 2021
As Bonchie reported, the White House claims to be examining how to pay the school boards who are now in a state of rebellion.
BREAKING: WH Press Secretary Jen Psaki says if Ron DeSantis revokes the paychecks of school officials who require masks, the Biden administration may be able to pay them instead.
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) August 10, 2021
And Joe Biden claims to be looking into how to declare a nationwide mask mandate in public schools.
— New York Post (@nypost) August 10, 2021
What is going on here is high stakes gambling. DeSantis is obviously a leading candidate for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. To maintain that status, he can’t let himself be punked or made to look ridiculous by Democrat school boards. To achieve that end, he must impose his will. As each day goes by, DeSantis must increase the level of pain for the Broward County insurrectionists. They have signaled that they don’t care about the money. If he lets them defy his order, he loses. What will be the next step?