DeSantis is again threatening 10 defiant school districts as ruling on masks looms

Florida governor says districts will face consequences but doesn't offer specifics
By: | August 26, 2021
A judge is expected to rule Friday on a lawsuit filed by parents from several counties alleging that Florida governor's ban on school mask mandates violates state constitution. (AdobeStock)A judge is expected to rule Friday on a lawsuit filed by parents from several counties alleging that Florida governor's ban on school mask mandates violates state constitution. (AdobeStock)

Any Florida school districts that mandate masks—10 had, as of Thursday—risk further punishment by the state, Gov. Ron Santis warned at a news conference live-streamed on Facebook.

Meanwhile, a judge is expected to rule by Friday on a lawsuit filed by parents from several counties alleging that DeSantis’ ban on school mask mandates violates Florida’s Constitution, Spectrum News reports.

At the news conference, held to mark the opening of a monoclonal antibody clinic, Desantis was asked if he was considering changing course and giving back to school leaders the authority to mandate masks.

We think the parents are best situated to make that decision,” DeSantis said. “If these entities are going to violate state law and take away parents’ rights, obviously there’s consequences for that and there’ll continue to be more.”

DeSantis, however, did not specify what those consequences would be.

“They are thumbing their noses at the right of parents,” he said.


More from DA: 10 Florida school districts have now mandated masks in defiance of ban


Last week, DeSantis and State Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran notified two districts—Alachua and Broward county schools—that the systems could lose funding equivalent to the salaries of school board members who have supported mask mandates.

DeSantis also noted during the livestream that students who contracted COVID over the summer have immunity to the virus and don’t need to wear masks.

New York City releases school safety plan

Along with universal masking and teacher vaccinations, New York City Schools will conduct extensive COVID testing when school begins on Sept. 13.

At each school, 10% of unvaccinated individuals who have submitted consent will be tested biweekly, according to the safety plan the New York City Department of Education released Thursday.

Testing will not be required for students and staff who are fully vaccinated. The district’s quarantine rules are as follows:

  • Elementary schools: A positive case in a classroom will require all students in the class to quarantine for 10 days, during which they will receive live remote instruction while they quarantine.
  • Vaccinated students in middle and high schools: If there is a positive case in a classroom, students who are vaccinated and not showing symptoms can stay in school. If they are showing symptoms, they will quarantine for 10 days and learn remotely.
  • Unvaccinated students in middle and high schools: Quarantine for 10 days if there is a positive case in their classroom. On day 5 of their quarantine, they may take a COVID-19 test, and with a negative result, return to attending school in-person after day 7.

More from DA