Education Secretary claims safe colleges ‘require masks,’ touts op-ed important of Florida’s anti-mask mandate law

Soon after months of lawful issues, heated faculty board conferences, and confusion among the mom and dad, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a invoice earlier this thirty day period that prohibits educational institutions from mandating masks for pupils. 

Carlee Simon, the superintendent of one of the very last college districts in the state to fall their mandate, Alachua County Community Colleges, wrote an op-ed previous week criticizing the anti-mask mandate law — and now Education and learning Secretary Miguel Cardona is backing her up. 

“This isn’t difficult & Superintendent Simon is appropriate. As educators, it is our task to maintain our colleges safe and that involves masks,” Cardona tweeted on Monday. 

Miguel Cardona speaks following President-Elect Joe Biden declared his nomination for Schooling Secretary at the Queen theatre on December 23, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Pictures)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s workplace hit back at the criticism on Monday, arguing that “pressured-masking schoolchildren is totally not the ‘scientific consensus.’”

“Secretary Cardona’s obsession with forcing children to include their faces is rooted in politics, not public health,” Christina Pushaw, DeSantis’s press secretary, instructed Fox News on Monday. 

“It is not the part of the governing administration to force young ones to put on masks. Governor DeSantis thinks moms and dads know their possess young children best, and he trusts mom and dad to make the suitable decisions for their little ones.”

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In this Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021 file picture, Learners, some wearing protecting masks, get there for the very first working day of university at Sessums Elementary University in Riverview, Fla. (AP Picture/Chris O’Meara, File)

Simon, in the meantime, argued that that the legislation requires away “mitigation strategies” like masks and quarantines that colleges have utilised to battle the pandemic. 

“If a different surge comes to Florida, faculties will have been hamstrung by condition leaders extra involved about appeasing their governor and his political foundation than endorsing the wellness and nicely-becoming of their constituents,” Simon wrote

Although some studies have demonstrated that masks can support gradual the distribute of COVID-19, there is also evidence that masking may be detrimental to the development of younger little ones. 

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“Masks worn in general public options and in university or daycare configurations may perhaps impact a selection of early producing abilities, these kinds of as attachment, facial processing, and socioemotional processing,” Brown University researchers wrote in a study in August. 

A university student wears a confront mask on the to start with day of New York Town educational facilities, amid the coronavirus ailment (COVID-19) pandemic in Brooklyn, New York, U.S. September 13, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The Entire world Wellness Firm advises that kids more youthful than 5 should not use masks, and small children amongst 6 and 11 yrs of age must only wear masks below specific situation. 

Serious disease from COVID-19 in youngsters appears to be rare, in accordance to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Kids accounted for roughly 25.1% of all circumstances noted in the United States concerning Nov. 11 and Nov. 18, but only account for 1.7%-4.% of hospitalizations and .00%-.25% of all COVID-19 deaths. 

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The Biden administration has threatened legal motion against quite a few states that have refused to put into action mask mandates in faculties, but Cardona stated he is unwilling to withhold federal cash from those districts. 

“I never know that keeping money from college students is the greatest approach,” Cardona explained to Axios final month. “Finally, the learners require much more assistance, not fewer.”

The Linked Press contributed to this report. 

Stefani

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