CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis held an event Friday morning where he continued to speak out against mask mandates in Florida schools.
“The forced masking has harmed students,” DeSantis said as he spoke to a crowd at a Two Meatballs in the Kitchen restaurant.
DeSantis started his speech by calling out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its “movement to impose more restrictions.”
He added that in Florida there will be no lockdowns, no school closures, no restrictions and no mask mandate in the state.
“We will protect their right to work, business to operate and children to attend school in person,” DeSantis said.
The governor pointed out that many school districts in the state have already made masks optional for students and said adding a mask mandate for students would be “a huge mistake.”
DeSantis said Florida has never mandated masks for residents or in school but allowed masks to be required last year because he wanted to see the schools return to in-person learning.
The governor cited a study that that claims schools in Florida and other large states which had similar COVID-19 infection outcomes regardless of masks being required to students or not.
“Even if the data says something else, that does not mean you mandate because of personal freedom,” DeSantis said.
“I want to empower parents to make the best decisions they can for the wellbeing of their children,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis said he will soon sign an executive order he’s calling the parent’s rights bill that will prevent mask mandates for children attending school in Florida.
He added that if a parent really feels that their children need to wear a mask, Florida is not stopping that.
Parents and teachers at the event also came up to speak on their experiences with children wearing masks in school and the emotional toll from the pandemic.
Channel 9 will have continued coverage of the governor’s announcement.
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