Three Florida counties LIFT school mask mandates in victory for DeSantis

by Gary Smith

In a victory for parental sovereignty, students attending public school in Florida’s Alachua, Miami-Dade, and Broward Counties can now fully opt-out of their districts mask mandates.

This is significant because these school districts are among the largest in the country, with Miami-Dade County Public Schools serving about 254,000 students and Broward approximately 204,000.

“We are focusing our attention 100% on student achievement, student attendance and providing students with the opportunities they need to accelerate their learning towards their full potential,” Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said about the decision at a press conference Tuesday.

“This is the crisis across America right now, and now that there are no political distractions associated with something that was never political, it is time for our parents, our community, our community leaders, our teachers, our students, our support staff to rally around children and their academic achievement,” he continued.

Parents in Miami-Dade can opt-out by filling out a form on the school district’s website and can expect their decisions to be honored as soon as Friday.

In Broward, the change goes live on Monday, Nov. 22, a week before Thanksgiving.

In addition, Alachua County School Board voted Wednesday to comply with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban on school mask mandates starting Friday.

This helps hundreds of thousands of students in the state, but not all, such as 7-year-old Fiona Lashells from Palm Beach County, who has endured 36 days of suspension and risks failing 2nd grade, because she rightfully refuses to submit to the mask mandate at her school. 

“Fiona has changed her priorities a bit and is on a mission to take back, not only her rights but every American child’s constitutional rights from the tyrant school board being operated by a financial expert who has no knowledge of how to safely and effectively run the 10th largest school district in America,” Fiona’s mother told Tampa Free Press. “Fiona is a strong-minded and fearless young girl who was ready to conquer the world at 7.”

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