Nikki Fried Urges DeSantis To Reconsider Ban On Mask Mandates In Schools
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is urging Governor Ron DeSantis to reconsider his executive order banning mask mandates in schools. As reported by NPR, the Broward Teachers Union says three local educators have died due to COVID-19 complications. Fried points to this, the state's rise in coronavirus cases, and more as to why school districts should be allowed to enact mask mandates.
"It is the height of hypocrisy for so-called conservatives Ron DeSantis and Richard Corcoran to tell local school districts that they will be punished for making decisions that they think are in the best interest of their communities," Fried said during a press conference held in advance of the State Board of Education's emergency meeting.
The meeting concerns Broward and Alachua County school districts' non-compliance with the governor's executive order. Under the order, officials can withhold state funds from school boards for mandating masks.
"These unconstitutional threats from DeSantis and Corcoran aren't about individual rights or freedom. They're about pandering to the most extreme voices in order to score political points at the expense of your kids, your family," Fried said.
According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona wrote a pair of open letters indicating that if superintendents and school board members had their salaries withheld due to mandating masks in schools, COVID-19 relief funds could be used to pay those people.
"That letter that came down from the Department of Education last week was the assurances that the White House was going to get the backs of any local officials, elected school board members that took the right step and that was making a mandate on masks in their communities," Fried said.