Nikki Fried calls on parents to speak out against Ron DeSantis’ ‘overreach’ in schools

Nikki Fried AP day 2019 (Large)
The Governor signed an executive order banning mask mandates in schools.

Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried added her voice Wednesday to the chorus of Democrats demanding Gov. Ron DeSantis stay out of local politics.

In a statement, Fried — a gubernatorial contender — chastised DeSantis for denying local school boards the authority to implement mask mandates on school grounds.

The executive order, she warned, threatens children’s lives.

“Now is the time for parents and teachers to stand up and make their concerns about this unacceptable government overreach known,” Fried said in a prepared statement. “We should not be playing politics with the lives of Florida’s kids, especially given reports that children account for nearly 1 in 5 new COVID-19 cases in our state.”

Indeed, COVID-19 cases are rising among Florida’s youth.

According to the Florida Department of Health, 10,785 kids below the age of 12 tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 

The increase marks a dramatic shift between the novel coronavirus and its more contagious delta variant. In the year past, children proved far less susceptible to the virus than adults.

For his part, DeSantis maintains students are still welcome to wear masks. The decision, however, rests with parents rather than government. 

“I think the White House tried to say I prohibited parents from making that decision,” DeSantis told reporters Tuesday. “It’s just the opposite. We’re empowering them.”

Notably, school boards and counties are moving forward with alternative public health measures. 

On Wednesday, Leon County School Superintendent Rocky Hanna mandated employees wear masks indoors when within six-feet of students when school starts next week.

Orange County announced similar plans on Wednesday, ordering employees and visitors to wear masks rather than students. 

The Governor’s order, signed Friday, is unclear as to whether it applies only to students, or all school staff as well.

The order further authorizes Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran to “pursue all legal means available to ensure school districts adhere to Florida law.” 

Among other methods, the state may withhold funds from non-compliant school districts.

“Local school boards and counties should have the authority to make decisions that are in the best interest of their students, teachers, and communities — without facing political retribution,” Fried added.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


  • Matthew Lusk

    August 4, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    Parents standing up to school boards and voicing their concerns. Watch out Nurse Nikki Rached, you might get what you ask for. And by the way, could you tell us your personal view on ADULTERY? And how you got that $700,000 house under investigation?

  • Matthew Lusk

    August 4, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    That last line is a doozy. She’s asking for political immunity. Stalin loves Nikki.

  • Ed

    August 4, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    Looking forward to Nikki releasing her financial data for 2020. From pennies to millions in only a couple of years and she
    talks corruption. Hypocrite!!!!!!

  • Andrew Finn

    August 4, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Richard Corcoran is just as big a jackass as Ron DeSantis. You just don’t hear as much from him because he is always busy kissing DeSantis’ ass.

  • Cj messina

    August 5, 2021 at 5:44 am

    Ms Fried do me a favor why don’t you move up to New York State? I came down here to Florida years ago to flee left wing liberal socialism ! Ms.Fried, do not belong in this state of Florida, you should be a politician where you would feel more at home with fellow liberal socialists who hate America and want to destroy the US Constitution.

  • Judge Crater

    August 5, 2021 at 10:12 am

    Pro-Death politicians like DeSantis and Abbot need to be called out for willingly enabling the needless deaths of young children. Certainly no Christian would vote for either one of them.

    • Tom

      August 5, 2021 at 5:38 pm

      And you are a Christian apparently.

Comments are closed.


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