Florida Schools May Be “Back To Normal” Soon

Riiver Nihil

“Our direction is relatively simple: Have a normal school year,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday during a news conference held at Christ the King Catholic School in Jacksonville, FL.

The Florida Governor has been making waves with his decisions throughout the last year. “These kids do not need to be wearing these masks, OK? I’m sorry, they don’t,” DeSantis said. “We need to be able to let them be kids and let them act normally. And that’s what should be the case in the fall throughout the school year.”

Gov. DeSantis noted that many schools already have removed their mask mandate and that he had been to a classical academy prior to the news conference that had also returned to normal.

Last week, DeSantis removed all emergency orders, preventing local governments from enforcing any mask mandates. One of the executive orders issued, Executive Order 21-101, effective July 1, states that “any emergency order issued by a political subdivision due to the COVID-19 emergency which restricts the rights or liberties of individuals or their businesses is invalidated.”

Executive Order 21-102 is effective immediately and suspends “all local COVID-19 restrictions and mandates on individuals and businesses.”

The Department of Education said that these executive orders do not affect schools, “To clarify, EO-21-102 only impacts city and county governments, and does NOT impact school districts and individual schools. Moreover, EO-21-101 and EO-21-102 only (impact) restrictive COVID-19 orders/ordinances that are adopted through emergency enactment.”

Florida Education Commissioner, Richard Corcoran, is on board with DeSantis and the unmasking of schools. He penned a letter to the school district superintendents, imploring them to remove the mask mandate and make it optional.

The letter reads, “Face coverings are a personal decision and certainly families and individuals should maintain their ability to make a decision that is unique to their circumstances,” wrote Corcoran. “Broad sweeping mandatory face covering policies serve no remaining good at this point in our schools.”

Corcoran brings up some valid points, that the masks “inhibit peer-to-peer learning,” and may also “impede instruction” for “students with disabilities and English language learners who benefit from viewing a teacher’s face and mouth.”

It is not clear yet if the governor will allow the Florida Department of Education to limit individual districts’ abilities to enforce the mask mandates. Currently, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns counties all require masks, while they are optional in Baker, Bradford, Columbia, and Union counties.


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