1,000 signatures reached
To: State Board of Education and the Governor
DeSantis is Killing Us, Make it Stop.
Florida legislators and DeSantis must stop playing politics with the lives of our children, healthcare professionals, and educators. Florida is in the midst of a public health emergency with the delta variant ripping through our communities, and those in power need to take action.
Florida needs a mask mandate and an end to DeSantis’s absurd threats to withhold salaries for school administrators that defy his mask ban in public schools.
Why is this important?
Florida is facing a public health emergency, and DeSantis is doing nothing to protect our families.
The State Board of Education and the Governor have nevertheless ruled that private school vouchers will be expanded, and districts that violate the mandate will lose state funding. This is how our state's governor plans to enforce his mask mandate ban in schools.
The truth is that the governor seems to be merely playing politics.
In collaboration with county health professionals, schools and students must determine the optimal procedures for safeguarding students and ensuring they receive the necessary support.
The absurdity of DeSantis is on full display with recent news. DeSantis signed an executive order allowing parents to decide whether or not their children should wear masks, many Florida school districts still insist that students wear them. And now, Broward and Alachua school districts were sanctioned by the Florida Board of Education for violating Governor Ron DeSantis' order banning masks in schools. As a result of the decision, districts that mandated the use of masks early in the school year faced their first round of consequences for mandating them. Richard Corcoran, the state Education Commissioner, announced Monday that state funds have been withheld from Alachua and Broward county school districts. The ways in which DeSantis is strapping educators' hands in protecting our teachers and students is unacceptable.
Even more troubling is DeSantis' claim that Regeneron is the solution to Covid-19, instead of effective social distancing and mask usage. But this just further highlights DeSantis’ ulterior motives. Among DeSantis' largest benefactors is Citadel, a Chicago-based hedge fund that owns 15.9 million Regeneron shares. Ken Griffin, CEO of Citadel Investment Group, has donated $10.75 million to a political party that supports Ron DeSantis - $5.75 million in 2018 and $5 million in April 2021. Regeneron was promoted at four events by DeSantis in one week. Since announcing the vaccine passport ban in May, he has failed to hold a public event that explicitly promotes vaccines. DeSantis' ulterior motives are clear.
It's time to tell DeSantis not to use our children and our communities as political pawns. Florida needs a mask mandate in every county that is experiencing a positivity rate above 5% and/or a hospital bed occupancy rate above 85%. Putting these safeguards in place will help our state move on from this crisis.
NBC News, Florida sanctions school districts for mandating that students wear masks. (2021, August 17). https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/florida-sanctions-school-districts-mandating-students-wear-masks-n1277031
NPR, Some Florida School Districts Will Require Masks. The Governor May Cut Their Funding. (2021, August 6). Some Florida School Districts Will Require Masks. The Governor May Cut Their Funding. https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/08/06/1025192746/some-florida-school-districts-will-require-masks-the-governor-may-cut-their-fund
Salon, Ron Desantis and Regeneron: Fl governor stops vaccine promotion in favor of treatment used by Trump. (2021, August 18). https://www.salon.com/2021/08/18/ron-desantis-and-regeneron-is-a-gop-donor-the-reason-why-floridas-governor-wont-promote-vaccines/
West Palm Beach News, Florida's State Board of Education to consider mask mandate ban enforcement rule. (2021, August 5). https://www.wptv.com/news/education/floridas-state-board-of-education-to-consider-mask-mandate-ban-enforcement-rule