The final three counties in Florida; Miami-Dade, Broward, and Alachua, have ended mandatory in-school masking following a prolonged legal battle between school districts and the state.
“The data does not support any clinical benefit for children in schools with mask mandates,” Florida’s Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo said Oct. 20. “The highest-quality data find no evidence of benefit.”
Back in July 2021, Governor DeSantis said, “The federal government has no right to tell parents that in order for their kids to attend school in person, they must be forced to wear a mask all day, every day,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Many Florida schoolchildren have suffered under forced masking policies, and it is prudent to protect the ability of parents to make decisions regarding the wearing of masks by their children.”
Miami-Dade, Florida’s largest school district, will allow students to opt-out of masks in school with parental permission starting Friday, the Associated Press reported. Broward will implement an opt-out policy for masking on Nov. 20, which will allow parents to choose whether their kids mask in school, Local 10 reported.
Alachua parents can opt their children out of school masking beginning January 4, according to the Gainesville Sun.
These were the last three of the eight school districts which implemented mask mandates in defiance of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s mask mandate ban.
The ban was blocked in court on Sept. 8 and reinstated by the 1st District Court of Appeal two days later.
The Florida Board of Education sanctioned the offending school districts on Oct. 8, withholding funds equivalent to 1/12 of all school board members’ salaries.
“Alachua County stubbornly resisted state law for most of the fall semester,” Jeff Childers, an Alachua attorney who was involved in the school mask fight, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“It was sanctioned by the Board of Education — twice — and rebuked by two courts … It’s a woeful example of a massive waste of taxpayer dollars that has left the county sideways with the state, a situation that could harm our students for years to come.”
On November 1, 2020, The Free Press first reported on the 2nd-grade student who was suspended for 36 days for violation of the mask mandate in Palm Beach County, which has rescinded their mandate as well.
Fiona, the 2nd-grade student in Palm Beach County, who her mom Bailey Lashells describes as a child who loves the typical things kids her age do: arts and crafts, drawing, making jewelry, painting, and getting to be a fun-loving kid, landed 36 suspensions.
“Fiona has changed her priorities a bit and is on a mission to take back, not only her rights but every American child’s constitutional rights from the tyrant school board being operated by a financial expert who has no knowledge of how to safely and effectively run the 10th largest school district in America,” said Lashells.
Starting on August 31, 2021, Fiona served her first punishment of a referral and silent lunch in an office hallway alone.
Lashells says her daughter, “has been steadfast in her unwavering decision to not back down to tyranny and lunacy vowing to do everything she can for every child going thru these lawless mandates.”
“Fiona is a strong-minded and fearless young girl who was ready to conquer the world at 7. Unfortunately, the blows just seem to not stop as she was recently told after completing every assignment her teacher will provide that she is not only failing 2nd grade but that there is no way she could catch up, per her teacher,” said Lashells.
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