School districts in both counties said on Tuesday that they were still planning to request a mask for the COVID-19 pandemic and were seeking legal action.
A Florida Circuit Court judge announced on Friday after Republican Governor Ron DeSantis ruled that a recent executive order banning school mask orders exceeded his authority. The Florida Department of Education did not mention the ruling in its announcement.
“We will fight to protect the parents’ right to make health care decisions for their children. They know what is best for their children. What is unacceptable is He is a politician who raised his right hand and pledged under a vow. He supports the Constitution, but he does not. “
DeSantis also threatened to withhold the supervisor’s salary, but admitted that he was incapable of doing so.
On August 11, DeSantis spokesman Christina Pushaw said the state “may move to withhold salaries from district supervisors or school board members” as a punishment.
Dr. Carly Simon, director of Alachua County Public School, said in a statement to ABC News on Tuesday that he was “extremely troubled by the state’s actions.” “Our school board members have made courageous decisions to protect the health and life of our students, staff, and people in this community. The court has already ruled that we have the legal right to do so. They deserve praise, not punishment. “
Simon said the district has already begun considering legal action in collaboration with other districts.
In a video statement shared by the district on Tuesday, Dr. Vicky Cartwright, interim supervisor at Broward County Public School, consulted with a legal counsel and believed that he would comply with state rules even if he fulfilled his obligations. He said he was.
“The health and safety of students, teachers and staff remains a top priority, so our data show that the use of masks minimizes the spread of COVID-19.”
Broward County Board of Education Chair Rosalind Osgood told ABC News on Tuesday that Broward County is one of the districts to file proceedings in collaboration with Alachua.
States and counties have been fighting for mask obligations for weeks. On August 20, the Florida Board of Education gave both counties a cancellation of the 48-hour mask order, but both districts refused.
As the school year begins, the national debate about mask mandates has recently intensified.
On Monday, the Federal Ministry of Education announced a civil rights investigation into five states banning mask obligations. Florida is not one of these states, according to the Ministry of Education. “As a result of court orders and other state actions, these states’ bans on universal indoor masking are not currently in force.”
Will McDuffie of ABC News contributed to this report.
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Florida withholds Broward’s salary, Alachua County board board over mask order following Executive Order of DeSantis
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