Florida Schools Issue Mask Mandates, Defy DeSantis

Florida Schools Issue Mask Mandates, Defy DeSantis

Florida Schools Issue Mask Mandates, Defy DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis believes in personal liberty, even in the face of Covid. He also supports the rights of parents to decide whether or not their school-age children will wear a mask.

But a large Tampa-area district doesn’t want to extend such liberty. So they defied DeSantis’s order which gives parents that option. No mask, no school for you!



On Wednesday, the Hillsborough County School District school board voted 5-2 to impose such a mandate on its school children. And kids can only attend sans mask if they have a doctor’s note.

The district argued that’s because nearly 10,000 students and staff members had to quarantine at the start of the school year. The district also reported that 1475 students had contracted Covid. School board member Nadia Combs sounded the alarm:

“There is an immediate danger to the public health, safety, and welfare.”

But not to worry, assured fellow board member Lynn Gray. It’s only for 30 days.

“If we’re just asking for a 30-day protective measure, isn’t that the least that we can do for our children? If it saves one life, 10 hospitalizations, isn’t that the least we can do?”

Doesn’t that sound vaguely familiar? Kind of like “14 days to slow the spread?” And here we are, about 18 months later, still having national arguments about Covid restrictions.

So if you think that this school district will only want 30 days to slow the spread, may I interest you in some Florida beachfront property in the Everglades?

And while 1475 infected students sounds like an enormous number, consider that the Hillsborough County School District is the third largest district in Florida and the eighth largest in the nation. It has nearly 207,000 students and over 25,000 staff members in 250 schools. So, according to my calculator, about .006% combined students and staff contracted Covid sometime near the beginning of the school year. As far as that 10,000 under quarantine — assuming they came into contact with an infected person, how many will actually develop Covid?

The Hillsborough district is not the only one to order masks for school kids. On Wednesday the huge Miami-Dade District school board also voted 7-1 to defy DeSantis and issue mask mandates for school kids.

Joe Biden, however, is all about pushing back against those dastardly governors who want to protect parents’ rights. He said so after his top generals Milley and Austin sweat bullets trying to explain away their failures in Afghanistan during their disastrous press conference on Wednesday. Joe, apparently, wouldn’t take the heat again, so he pivoted to Covid. Because. . . children!

After all, Afghanistan is a massive clusterfark, our southern border is Swiss cheese, food and gas prices are going up, but Biden used what little time that he’s marginally coherent to rip Ron DeSantis.

Yeah, about that. DeSantis had words for him.

Radiologist Pradheep Shanker also observed:

However, here’s another instance where Joe Biden got it wrong, because Ron DeSantis did not ban masks in schools. Even CNN reported the facts, although their legal consultants couched the governor’s executive order as more “political speech than legal directive.”

So, in short, if a Florida mom wants to mask up her kindergartener, no one at school will stop her. Perhaps her little one has health issues, or has spent some time in the hospital. That’s fine — we should all respect that.

But a new poll out of Florida shows that a little over half of that state’s parents of school age children want to decide whether their child will wear a mask indoors at school. Meanwhile, 40% supported mandates, and 9% were unsure.

Yet despite the wishes of Joe Biden and some school boards in Florida, there is little evidence for kids to use face masks in school. They don’t effectively stop the spread of disease. In fact, a study from Sweden reported that there was little to support face mask use among children. Plus, Drs. Marty Makary and Cody Meissner — Makary from Johns Hopkins and Meissner from Tufts Children’s Hospital — argued in the Wall Street Journal that masks are abusive. They especially hinder the education of children with special needs. Plus, Makary and Meissner added that “masks can be vectors for pathogens if they become moist or are used for too long.”

Have you ever seen a mask that a young kid has worn for hours throughout the school day? I’ve seen plenty of those. When I provided speech services to young kids at a Montessori school and parochial school last year, I always had the kids remove their masks. After all, you can’t do too much speech therapy for a kid whose mouth is covered, right?

The masks were disgusting. I would see a wide film of moisture inside the mask where the child’s mouth made contact with the paper or cloth. I think that one of my little clients, a five-year-old boy, wore a cloth mask day after day without it being washed. Eww.

Finally, studies comparing forced-mask schools with mask-optional schools showed that schools that mandated masks had higher infection rates.

Gov. DeSantis gives credit to the parents in Florida for being responsible for their kids. He’s leaving it up to them because, after all, who loves and cares for children more than parents? Certainly not the school boards in Tampa or Miami-Dade. And certainly not Joe Biden, who isn’t responsible for much of anything.


Featured image: Nik Anderson/vpreman.com/cropped/CC BY 2.0. 

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!


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