Statement from Superintendent Dr. Carlee Simon regarding today’s court ruling

Press release from Alachua County Public Schools

I am extremely gratified by Circuit Court Judge John Cooper’s decision in this case. His ruling is a validation of the right of locally-elected school boards to protect their students and communities during this crisis without fear of political or financial retribution.

Just as importantly, the ruling is a victory for students in Alachua County and across Florida, all of whom have the right to attend safe schools. We agree with Judge Cooper’s statement that face mask requirements such as those in place in Alachua County Public Schools and a growing number of Florida school districts are “reasonable and consistent with the best scientific and medical opinion and guidance in the country.”

Clearly this is not the end of the legal battle over mask mandates in Florida schools. The state has made it very clear that it would appeal any decision it considered unfavorable. Fortunately the School Board has given me the authority to take legal action to protect our district’s ability to make decisions in the best interests of our students, families, employees, and the broader community.

  • This statement coming from an individual whose only experience is teaching Industrial Arts for 4 years and talking on the “circuit.”

    So at the end of what, this decade, we should see a decrease in the amount of Covid infections and deaths amongst school age children? No $h!t Sherlock!

    That’s because many of the kids will have graduated from high school by then. Combine that with the CRT and Equity teachings they keep promoting and society will be comprised of a bunch of individuals, afraid of going outside, worried whether they will be classified as white supremacists, and unable to make a decision unless government makes it for them.

    No seriously, since school has been in session 3 weeks and students in this county have been under mask mandates during that same period, we should be seeing ZERO increases in infections. Guess what? WE’RE NOT!

    All you so-called experts out there, why not?

    Keep on believing…

  • He’s only a circuit judge legislating from the bench. It will be overturned within a week. And no, a school board cannot overturn state law.

  • “the governor overreached his authority, misinterpreted state law and ignored scientific evidence” Leon County Judge Cooper

    This is the second court defeat DeSantis has suffered in recent weeks. A federal judge has temporarily blocked a law banning cruise lines and other businesses from requiring proof of vaccination from customers (Miami Herald)

    • Hey George! I’m curious – please, in all your wisdom answer…since we’ve masked our children for 3 weeks, why are positive cases continuing to rise?

      Help me to believe…

      • masks have taken on an almost religious fervor where data doesn’t matter as much as political affiliation
        Florida is about 1/3 Republican 1/3 Democrat & 1/3 all other such as Independents & Libertarians
        A lot of Florida’s future will be determined by that 1/3 who don’t align as (D) or (R) possibly including our next governor & senator?
        The mask debate has moved well beyond reason & data; emotions largely are in control now, very few remain open minded enough to be persuaded to change course based on data.

        • By George…a typical liberal who chooses to sidestep the question. Give it another try, I’m quite sure there are others besides myself who are open-minded if given a valid response.

          Considering your reply, given the current personal inadequacies of some, this state and this country’s future will be decided by those who don’t know whether they’re male or female.

          Now that’s definitely a scary thing to believe in…

        • Ocala-News.com says Marion County Schools have a mask mandate with simple parental (non medical) opt-out. They report a current opt-out rate around 15%
          Alachua County medical opt-out is around 1%
          Other districts with simple parental out-out report between 10% – 30%

          • And? Can you even comprehend the question as presented? Stop avoiding the question.

            Either that or just admit that you, as many liberals do, have a difficult time supporting your ideas.

            Keep believing…

    • Hey George! Look what’s going on in Israel. The shot
      & mask don’t matter.

      • First Coast News reports Duval County Public Schools reported Tuesday that approximately 6,943 students are opted out of wearing masks at school. The students that opted out represent about five percent of the total student population enrolled in brick and mortar schools

  • Judge Cooper bends to a false consensus of media propaganda rather than the media censored science that cannot support masks as effective and do more harm than good: “The evidence submitted by the defendant [the state] I think reflects a minority, perhaps even a small minority of medical and scientific opinion,” (National Review)

    • summarizing
      districts with simple parental opt-out reportedly average:
      – Seminole 17%
      – Marion 15%
      – Palm Beach 5% with the highest school Jupiter High 27%

      Medical opt-out average:
      – Alachua 1%

      Duval just changed to a medical from a parental. Duval was @ 5% prior to the change.

      • Leon County has adopted a hybrid approach. High school students are over 12 y/o & are thus vaccine eligible & can parental opt-out. Middle & elementary students need a medical exemption.

        • the Palm Beach Post provided an analysis:
          High school students are more likely to opt-out
          Republican voting precincts are more likely to opt-out

        • & now for some humor:
          I read (but didn’t note the source at the time & don’t recall now)
          a Catholic Diocese offered their flock a “no questions” religious exemption to wearing a mask in (public) school. (Here’ the punch-line) the same diocese mandated 100% no exception masking in the Catholic schools they ran!
          (this seems funnier each time I think about it, I hope you do too)

    • George… we’re still curious. Given the percentages you are so willingly providing, why is the COVID positivity increasing for students in mask mandated schools?

      We are still looking for a reason to believe…

  • Victory you say? The Nazi’s also claimed many victories. But in the end, they were defeated by patriotic Americans. Just as you will be.

      • Mark K…Good read. Of special note – “Findings from several studies suggest that SARS-CoV-2 transmission among students is relatively rare, particularly when prevention strategies are in place. An Australian study of 39 COVID-19 cases among 32 students and seven staff traced contacts across 28 schools and six early childhood centers and found only 33 secondary positive cases (28 students and five staff members) out of 3,439 close child contacts and 385 close staff contacts.58, 59 Several contact tracing studies have found limited student-to-student transmission in schools.47, 54, 60, 61 A study of factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection among children and adolescents in Mississippi found that school attendance was not associated with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result. However, close contacts with persons with COVID-19, attending gatherings, and having visitors in the home were associated with SARS-CoV-2 infections among children and adolescents.26 The evidence to date suggests that staff-to-student and student-to-student transmission are not the primary means of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 among infected children. Several studies have also concluded that students are not the primary sources of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 among adults in school setting.”

        Could be concluded that masking children has not conclusively proven to be a deterrent to the spread of the virus. Given the results of the study with Australian students – that’s still less than a 1% positivity rate.

        Once again, thanks for the info and especially for assisting George with his attempts at answering my question.

  • realtruth2020 – if this was last year when these studies were conducted I would be in complete agreement with you. The Australian studies were conducted when there was the alpha variant, and schools in NSW were at reduced capacities. However now we are dealing a much more contagious delta variant (more than 2x) and Alachua county schools that are at full capacity.

    “At this time, as we build the level of vaccination nationwide, we must also use all the prevention strategies available, including masking indoors in public places, to stop transmission and stop the pandemic. Everyone who is able, including fully vaccinated people, should wear masks in public indoor places in areas of substantial or high transmission.”

    • Mark… I hear you. The problem is that currently, children under 12 are not authorized for the vaccine. No problem, implement a mask mandate.

      Been there, done that and yet the numbers are not going down. That reinforces many opposing reasons that masks are not a viable solution for children. Whereas many say it protects individuals, what individual? Kids are not carriers and adults can be mandated by their employer, (see last year’s mask requirements for SBAC employees). They are also encouraged to get the vaccine thereby further reducing their risk.

      Given the greater infection rate of the B variant and masks mandates amongst children, something is askew as to why there is a greater rate of infection in sub 12 year old children. The reason for that has not been fully explained statistically and only haphazardly been explained theoretically.

      You don’t send a person into the woods with a BB gun to kill a bear. Why put such faith in masks that, according to statistics, are not keeping children from being infected?

      Things should and are being used to protect our children but at what costs to their physical and emotional well-being? Kids are resilient and having some myself, know how fast they bounce. I think the importance is to prioritize the safety of those most vulnerable. That being said, MY CHILD to ANY parent will always be the most vulnerable.

      Good conversation…I like it🤔

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