Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed to oppose any attempt by the Biden administration to impose a federal mandate that requires students to wear masks in school.
In July DeSantis issued an executive order directing the Florida Departments of Health and of Education to work together on protocols for controlling the spread of COVID-19 in schools that do not violate the rights of parents to make healthcare decisions for their children.
He later said that he would not require children returning to in-person learning to wear masks to school, but that parents could require their own children to wear masks in school if they chose.
The masking of school children became an issue when some Florida counties sidestepped DeSantis’ order and required that students wear masks in school unless a doctor, parent or guardian submitted a written statement exempting a child from wearing a mask.
In Hernando County, masks are not mandatory for school children in Grades K-12 for this academic year, but parents may require that their own children wear masks to in-person classes.
On Aug 10, President Joe Biden said he was “looking into” imposing a nationwide mandate requiring children in grades K-12 to wear masks in school.
During an Aug. 11 press conference in St. Petersburg, DeSantis said he would oppose such a mandate.
“They’re also talking about potentially imposing a nationwide mask mandate on kindergartners, first graders, regardless of what the parents believe is in the best interest of their kids,” DeSantis said. “Obviously when you’re talking about the federal government overruling parents in our communities that’s something that we would fight back vociferously against.”
Meanwhile, Biden said that he does not believe he has the power to interfere with DeSantis’ policy banning masks in school.