Alachua schools Superintendent lobs retort as state demands names of students disciplined for not wearing masks
education, healthcare and pandemic concept - african student girl wearing face protective medical mask for protection from virus disease with smartphone at lecture

student girl in mask with smartphone at lecture
Alachua County was one of two school districts going rogue in face of the Governor's ban on mandatory face masks.

If you’re going to rebel, you might as well go all the way.

Alachua County schools Superintendent Carlee Simon lobbed some snark in Tallahassee’s direction as part of the latest exchange in the battle over mandatory student face masks.

Simon is heading up one of the 10 school districts that have imposed mandatory face coverings for students in defiance of Gov. Ron DeSantis, who banned via an executive order mandatory face masks for students. And, apparently, her letter was not as complete as the state Education Department wanted when she informed Tallahassee earlier this week that Alachua County schools would be maintaining its mandatory mask policy, even if it meant losing state aid.

The state Education Department wants the names of the kids who won’t cover their faces and more.

“ … The Alachua County School Superintendent shall certify upon request … any instance of the School District of Alachua County’s enforcement of the unlawful face-covering mandate policy …” a letter from Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran dated Wednesday reads. “Such report shall include the students’ name and grade, parent’s name(s) and home address … Failure to timely comply with your reporting obligation may lead to more sanctions.”

Simon was given until 5 p.m. Thursday to reply.

“Given that the School Board of Alachua County does not have an unlawful face-covering mandate policy, we do not have anything to report,” Simon wrote, after reiterating the request.

A handful of students have been sent home for not covering their faces, the district said.

School officials said that Broward County schools, also on tap to receive the same punishment for its masking policy, replied to the same request Thursday. But the reply was not furnished.

Jared Ochs said there is a reason behind the request for student names: “Obviously, the State Board of Education wants to know of each and every incident of school children being harassed, abused and wrongfully denied an education.”

Alachua and Broward counties were the first to insist that students wear face coverings to school as COVID-19 infections surge with the deadly delta variant expanding across the state. Joining the two districts are Duval, Hillsborough, Indian River, Leon, Miami-Dade, Orange, Palm Beach and Sarasota counties.

DeSantis has vowed these districts will face punishment for defying his order that prohibits requiring students to mask up. He has repeatedly stated he believes parents have the right to decide if their children will mask at school.

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].


  • Alex

    August 26, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    So DesAnus can do a photo-op with these “victims”

  • Peterh

    August 27, 2021 at 12:39 am

    Tallahassee getting names and addresses. DeSantis and the Taliban-ization of Florida. Book burning is next on the plate. Venezuela would be proud!

  • Sonja Fitch

    August 27, 2021 at 5:15 am

    Lock up Duffus Desantis! This dude is a crazy Nazi wannabe! This is prevention . We have a history of prevention in Florida and America! Seat belts, record of immunity shots, procedures for approving safe drugs, laws of travel, limits of Government, and courtesy to neighbors! Lock up Duffus Desantis! His political bs is being used to KILL and murder Floridians and our children!

  • Ron Ogden

    August 27, 2021 at 8:41 am

    They want to know, obviously, so they can make sure the parents are offered the option of state money to send their children to a private school.
    “Snark” is for folks like those who comment above: it’s easy, it’s fun and it makes sure others don’t confuse you with someone who is actually a responsible person. But it has no place among school board members and their employees.

  • Robert Hurley

    August 27, 2021 at 8:41 am

    As a parent of a child in a Florida public school will the governor strike down the Communistic dress code and endorse my right to decide what constitutes appropriate clothing for my little girls?

  • Andrew Finn

    August 27, 2021 at 9:02 am

    Once the court is finished with Emperor DeSantis and his moronic mask edict later today, there will be a rush to institute mask mandates all over the state. Even here in Pinellas County (where the school board doesn’t have the balls to do it now) they may even put a mandate in place.

  • Anya

    August 27, 2021 at 9:32 am

    Hats off to you, Superintendent Carlee Simon.
    Brevity is, indeed, the soul of wit.

  • Biggie

    August 27, 2021 at 9:50 am

    I hope DeSantis Fires these Commie Officials immediately. Show up at the schools and start handcuffed them. Drag that ugly Superintendent in Alachua and the other ones in Broward out by the ears. Make an example out of them. They are breaking State Law and the Executive Order. They need to be punished and humiliated. These are Commies who think they are above Freedom. Go Ron desantis, Ashley Moody, and Ron Corcoran! These are our schools, they don’t belong to the Radical Left Commies.

  • Joe Neuman

    August 27, 2021 at 9:53 am

    Thank you Ron. Some of these people think a local school board outweighs the will of the people. Its Sad and unimpressive. Keep up the great Work and let’s keep Florida free.

Comments are closed.


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