As more school districts join mask rebellion, Nikki Fried calls on Gov. DeSantis to cancel mask mandate prohibition
Ron DeSantis and Nikki Fried.

DeSantis Fried
"Enough is enough, governor": Ninth school district expected to join rebellion against DeSantis order

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Tuesday morning called on Gov. Ron DeSantis to pull down his executive order that stops schools from requiring students to come to school in masks.

“Governor, enough is enough,” she said.

Christina Pushaw, DeSantis’ spokeswoman, declined to respond to Fried’s call.

The move comes as eight school districts, and possibly a ninth are now in open rebellion, passing requirements for all children to come to school with masks unless they have a doctor’s note.

Tuesday is also the second day of a three-day hearing on the ban on mask mandates; parents have brought a lawsuit saying the mask-optional policy endangers their children’s health. Fried also cited reports of teachers and children dying from COVID-19 in her plea.

“Governor, it’s time to pull down the executive order, the unconstitutional executive order, and let our school boards do what they were voted in to do — represent parents, represent children and provide a safe environment for this coming school year,” said Fried, who attended the second day of the school year in Miami-Dade County public schools at Southside Elementary School with Miami-Dade School Board member Lucia Baez-Geller. “ … Let’s protect our students together. Let’s start working together instead of fighting each other.”

Fried, a Democrat, is in a bid to replace DeSantis, who has not formally announced he is a candidate for reelection next year. She also faces Charlie Crist in the Democratic primary.

DeSantis’ office has maintained that mandatory masks do not stop the spread of COVID-19, and requiring masks interferes with parents’ rights to decide whether their children should be masked.

Alachua and Broward counties were the first to buck DeSantis’ ban on the student mask requirement. As a result, the Governor’s office announced that these districts would face a reduction in state aid in an amount equal to school board members’ salaries. The federal government has since gotten involved, pledging that no district would suffer financially for defying DeSantis. And, before school started in Miami-Dade on Monday, the School Board voted to require students to wear face coverings unless they have a doctor’s note.

Other districts, with thousands of students either infected with COVID-19 or in quarantine from the first week in school, have followed suit. Duval, Hillsborough, Leon, Palm Beach, and Sarasota counties have since joined the rebellion in the last week. Orange County’s School Board Chairwoman Teresa Jacobs has announced her desire to drop the parental opt-out in that county’s policy, according to WESH-TV.

Fried said she is proud of those courageous school leaders willing to go up against the DeSantis.

“I’m so proud not only of the School Board here in Miami-Dade but also for the seven others across the entire state of Florida who have stood up for the health and wellness and safety of our children … who made sure that they weren’t going to be bullied by the Governor.

Alachua County sent a reply to the latest threat to the state Education Department on Sunday. Broward County said they have until today to respond and have not yet provided it.

“The parents of Alachua County have placed their trust in us to care for their children; protecting each other with universal masking will help keep our children in the classroom and out of the hospital,” Alachua schools Superintendent Carlee Simon wrote in the letter to the State Education Board.

In reply to DeSantis’ contention that masks do not stop the transmission of the virus, Fried said: “I’m following the science, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommendations.”

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • Jmjusa

    August 24, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    … Funny thing to see all these “pro-choicers” fighting against “choice”.
    Typical demon-o-crat bull..

    • E

      August 25, 2021 at 9:08 am

      Wearing a mask isn’t a choice it’s a necessity.

      • Evan Miller

        August 25, 2021 at 11:48 am

        I haven’t worn a mask since this phony Chinese virus started. It is a big scam. Where was the concern under Obama’s H1N1?

        • Suzan

          August 25, 2021 at 2:47 pm

          USA citizens can now get this job and earns more dollars by go to this web.l last month i have made and received $17915 from this job by doing easy work in part time….

        • Mary Fowler

          August 29, 2021 at 3:40 pm

          The H1N1 is a flu variant. Not as contagious or as deadly as COVID19.

  • Impeach Biden

    August 24, 2021 at 2:53 pm

    There they go again, hypocritical Democrats. So is our marijuana czar pro-choice or not?🤣

  • Ocean Joe

    August 24, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    “The federal government has since gotten involved, pledging that no district would suffer financially for defying DeSantis.”
    That must be the ‘Blip’ our tough talking governor didn’t want to hear from the president.

  • Tom Palmer

    August 24, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    I guess the question is whether the wheels are coming off the DeSantis vaccine alternative road show.

  • rosemary n brennan

    August 24, 2021 at 10:58 pm

    he is a nut6 i hope his kids get the sicknes

    • Mary Fowler

      August 29, 2021 at 3:43 pm

      I believe strongly in mask mandates, but I would never wish ill on an innocent child. That is petty and low. It is just what we are trying to avoid, sick and dying children.

  • John Cares

    August 26, 2021 at 10:38 am

    Everyone hates everyone. Love your wives and kids. Congratulations to Nikki Fried for having the state defying our governor. It’s just politics. You can’t take it too personal.

Comments are closed.


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