Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Office Threatens To Withhold Salaries Of School Officials Who Require Students To Wear Masks

TSR Politics: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis crusade against mask mandates could hurt the pockets of school officials trying to enforce mask use in schools.

The governor’s office recently said that the state board of education could move to withhold the salaries of superintendents and school board members who disregard DeSantis’ executive order that effectively prohibits mask mandates in school districts, CNN reports.

As we reported late last month, DeSantis issued an executive order that bans local school districts from requiring students to wear masks ahead of the fall semester. DeSantis demanded the state’s health and education departments to create rules based on parents’ rights to make the health care decisions for their children.

DeSantis’ spokeswoman, Christina Pushaw, pinned a tweet Monday that reads: “Ultimately — Education funding is for the students. The kids didn’t make the decision to encroach upon parents’ rights. So any financial penalties for breaking the rule would be targeted to those officials who made that decision.”

DeSantis claims he’s advocating for parents’ rights.

“I think the fairest thing to do is just say let parents make the decisions,” DeSantis said last week at an event at a Tampa hospital.

The Florida Democratic Party on Monday addressed DeSantis’ stance while referring to comments made by Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy–who opposes DeSantis’ position.

“Gov. DeSantis, if you won’t listen to pleas from worried parents, students and children from across Florida, will you at least listen to physician and GOP Senator @BillCassidy? Local school boards should decide on public health measures, not Tallahassee,” it tweeted.

Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that DeSantis’ position, as well as a similar one of Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott, is “so self-defeating,” especially considering health officials have seen a sharp rise in children being hospitalized.

“And for the first time that I can remember since the start of this pandemic, we’re seeing kids in pediatric intensive care units in large numbers to the point where even pediatric intensive care units are getting overwhelmed,” Hotez said.

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