Major school districts across Arizona, Florida and Texas are more openly challenging Republican leaders who have banned school mask mandates in many states. This is due to the contagious delta variant of coronavirus, which is causing a spike in coronavirus cases as students return from school.
The White House has been drawn into the showdown and is now in courtrooms, where only two states have allowed school masks to be worn.
Schools in the United States have many rules to maintain classrooms open during the coronavirus epidemic. However, leaders of the GOP banned some districts from requiring that all students wear masks.
However, with the rising incidence of infections and hospitalizations, and the cost of vaccines for young children being prohibitive, blue-leaning areas are rebelling against the laws. They require masks in schools and have to comply with the governors’ orders. Districts in Phoenix and Texas, Austin, San Antonio, San Antonio, Broward County, Florida are some of those who have defied the mask laws.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis threatened with withholding salaries of school leaders who implement mask requirements.
“At no point shall I allow my decision to be influenced by a threat to my paycheck; a small price to pay considering the gravity of this issue and the potential impact to the health and well-being of our students and dedicated employees,” said Alberto Carvalho, the superintendent of the state’s largest school district who is still deciding on a mandate ahead of the start of school later this month.
Masks are a key coronavirus-prevention tool that doesn’t pose health risks for kids older than toddler age and are most effective when worn by a larger number of people, public health experts say. They are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control again for use in schools.
But mask rules have nevertheless drawn fierce protest, including takeovers of school board meetings, from activists who worry about side effects, question the need and say parents should decide.
On Tuesday, the White House was awash with the DeSantis threat of withholding salaries. Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, discussed the possibility of paying federal funds to school officials “who do the right thing to safeguard students and keep schools open and safe.”
Children are more likely to experience serious health problems than the elderly. However, the COVID wave that hit Florida on Wednesday is also causing an “enormous rise” in the number of cases among children. Many of these children are now sicker than doctors have ever seen before, according to the chief medical officer of one of the state’s most prestigious children’s hospitals. Leaders from other medical systems in hotspots such as Louisiana claim a similar situation is happening in their pediatric hospitals.
DeSantis claimed that hospitalized children are increasing because of the increase in coronavirus cases. He said that there has been no increase in the number of COVID-positive pediatric patients.
At least three Florida school districts are suspected to be violating DeSantis’s executive order prohibiting masks. This includes the second-most populous county in Florida and one around the capital.
In Texas, where COVID-19 hospitalizations have spiked to their highest level in six months, a judge sided with San Antonio and temporarily allowed the city, county and public schools to require masks. Next week, another hearing will be held. Republican Governor. Greg Abbott, Republican Governor, banned mandates July 1st and shows no signs of backing down. However, other school districts in major cities such as Dallas, Houston, and Austin are issuing mandates in protest of his ban.
A state ban on mask mandates isn’t faring well in the courts in Arkansas either. A state judge ruled that the ban was against Arkansas’ constitution and temporarily stopped it from being implemented. One plaintiff was an Arkansas school district, where over 1,000 students and staff had to be quarantined because of a coronavirus epidemic.
At least three dozen charter schools and school districts have adopted mask requirements for students and teachers since the decision.
Republican Governor. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson now regrets signing the ban. However, lawmakers opted against changing course in a special session last Wednesday.
Utah’s health director for the largest county is trying to defy a state law by imposing a new mandate on children under 12 years old. Angela Dunn was previously a target of anti-mask ire for her role as state epidemiologist. She has stated that she is deeply concerned about the spread of infections to children and disruptions in schools.
“There’s far less drama in a school where all kids are wearing masks than a spread of COVID within that school and kids being sent home to address illness, or to be put into quarantine or isolation,” said Democratic mayor Jenny Wilson, who’s backing the move that may yet be tanked by the Republican-controlled county council.
A dispute is raging in South Carolina between the Republican governor of South Carolina and the capital over a school mask requirement that local leaders approved last Wednesday. Columbia’s attorney general threatened to sue leaders if they tried to enforce the rule that protects children in elementary and middle schools who are too young to be vaccinated. Republican Governor. Henry McMaster said Monday it should be up to parents whether to mask kids.
Arizona’s doctors have pleaded with the GOP governor. Doug Ducey has refused to require face coverings in public schools. He is sticking to a state budget prohibition. About 10 districts from Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff representing over 130,000 students and 200 school have defied the prohibition. A high school biology teacher filed a lawsuit challenging that decision. A hearing has been scheduled for Friday.
C.J., a gubernatorial spokesperson said that Arizona has no prohibition on masks. Karamargin said last week. “The governor signed the legislation that was passed by the Legislature. It is clear that Arizona is against the mask-mandate.”