School Board of Broward County continues to accuse DeSantis of ‘overreaching’ on face masks

Broward County Public Schools’ universal indoor face mask mandate remains in effect in school buses and school buildings without major opposition from students and their parents, local officials said Tuesday. And although the surge in cases that prompted the safety measure continues, state officials’ pressure against it continues.

The School Board of Broward County also implemented a medical opt-out to the mandate. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ July 30th executive order to protect parents’ freedom doesn’t require a doctor’s note. Rosalind Osgood, the School Board of Broward County’s chair, has said the conflict doesn’t make any sense.

“We believe strongly that the local citizenry elected a local school board in accordance with the Florida Constitution to govern and make policies for school districts, so we feel that the governor is really overreaching his authority,” Osgood said.

The members of the State Board of Education voted to allow the Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran to issue financial sanctions against school districts that violate DeSantis’ order to ban the face mask mandate that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended.

Corcoran gave BCPS a Tuesday deadline to comply or face sanctions; Broward didn’t comply saying face masks support a safe environment to continue in-person learning.

“Normally when you are in a process like this and you are sanctioned or you are given a directive, or you are accused of not following the law, you get a measure of due process, we have not been given any due process, during this procedure that we are following,” Osgood said.

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said COVID-relief funds would be used to support any financial sanctions DeSantis’ administration would impose on school districts who are in following the CDC recommendation. Nonetheless, the School Board of Broward County issued a response to Corcoran on Tuesday.

“Millions of people have died from COVID, not one person has died from wearing a mask,” Osgood wrote on Twitter.

A few dozen people were outside of the School Board of Broward County’s building protesting the face mask mandate with signs like “Freedom Not Force,” “Kids Are Low Risk” and “No masks!”

According to the CDC, Broward County is an area of high transmission.

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