Florida Officials Defying Mask Optional Rule Could Have Salary Suspended


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration is reminding officials that they could have their salaries suspended if they defy the state’s mask optional rule for students in public schools.

DeSantis’ Press Secretary Christina Pushaw reminded the noncompliant school districts of the possible ramifications:

“With respect to enforcing any financial consequences for noncompliance of state law regarding these rules and ultimately the rights of parents to make decisions about their children’s education and health care decisions, it would be the goal of the State Board of Education to narrowly tailor any financial consequences to the offense committed. For example, the State Board of Education could move to withhold the salary of the district superintendent or school board members, as a narrowly tailored means to address the decision-makers who led to the violation of law.”

DeSantis signed the executive order which directed the Florida Board of Education to work with the Florida Department of Health in crafting penalties regarding school districts defying the rights of parents over their children.

When DeSantis announced the signing of the order, he was insistent on maintaining the rights of the parents and the rights of the children to attend school in person.

“I just want to say, in Florida, there will be no lockdowns, there will be no school closures… no restrictions, and no mandates in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “Floridians have been, are, and will remain, free to choose what’s best for themselves and their families, and we will protect their right to work. We’ll protect the right of businesses to operate, and we will protect the right of our kids to attend school in person.”

A number of school districts have announced they will be defying the mask mandate. The most recent example is Leon County Schools, the county of Tallahassee, Florida. Leon County Superintendent Rocky Hanna said the prospects of losing children to COVID and the spread of the delta variant were driving factors.

Pushaw continued on Twitter by saying the decision to suspend pay for officials was dependent upon the officials that “encroach upon parents’ rights.”

“Ultimately — Education funding is for the students,” Pushaw said. “The kids didn’t make the decision to encroach upon parents’ rights. So any financial penalties for breaking the rule would be targeted to those officials who made that decision.” 

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips. 









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