Teachers’ union says DeSantis’ EO prohibiting school mask mandates panders to divisive politics


The Alachua County Education Association sent an email out to its members yesterday, saying that the union “continues to advocate for your COVID Leave and the safest working conditions possible.” In the email, Carmen Ward, President of ACEA, told union members that the school board’s School Health Advisory Committee just recommended that masks be required in county schools and concluded, “Politicians should not be putting our students in harms [sic] way to pander to divisive politics [sic] see FEA’s press release attached.”

The press release from the Florida Education Association (FEA) said, “In a state as large and diverse as Florida, decisions on health and safety will not come in one-size-fits-all solutions, and that is why it is important for the will of the people, as expressed by their locally elected officials, to determine decisions regarding health and safety in schools.”

The release continued, “Gov. DeSantis has made clear he does not respect the freedom of locally elected officials to do what they feel is best for their communities, based on input from parents, school employees, the available Covid data, and guidance from the medical community and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

The FEA then said that DeSantis has “mandat[ed] a pay plan that requires teachers with 15 years of experience to be paid the same as a first-year teacher,” but DeSantis does not set teacher salaries; however, he supported increased funding for teachers, passed by the legislature, that set a minimum salary across the state. All other teacher salaries are negotiated between the unions and the school districts.

The FEA also said that DeSantis should “lead on the issues where we can all agree.” The release says that the majority of schools in Florida do not have a school nurse, but funding from the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County is providing 30 nurses for Alachua County schools, on top of the nurses already in those schools. Pasco County has reported a similar grant from the health department; it is unclear whether other counties received similar grants. The FEA also blames the governor for low student-to-counselor ratios and schools with leaky roofs: “Right now, Gov. DeSantis could unite all Floridians by championing these health and safety issues”

  • And what do those same educators say local leadership panders to? More hypocrisy.

    Nice the ACEA utilizes FEA memos in their continued efforts to undermine conservative leadership but beneath their very own noses can’t see what local district leadership is doing with federal funds. How much of those funds are being used for classroom teachers? Most of the positions I’ve seen have been at the district level – making more than school personnel at that. The current leadership is misguided and not doing what’s best for the children. Unless hiring friends is what can be interpreted as being best for our kids.

    What the local leadership and the ACEA continue to show is that they only want to follow the rules they feel apply to them.

    Typical of most liberal individuals…do as I say not as I do.

  • looks like COVID will disrupt yet another school year!
    The new Delta variant reportedly infects kids about the same as adults but they aren’t vaccine eligible ’till age 12 (middle school).
    Parents should determine their kid’s education, not a governor or union, especially in matters of health & safety!
    Maybe designate “mask mandatory” & “mask optional” schools & bus kids to their appropriate site? (like back during desegregation but this would be segregation according to parental preference)
    Parents must be enabled to make decisions directly affecting their kids! Others can have a voice, but ultimately parents should decide!

    • Close the border and maybe we will think about putting a mask on. Border is wide open and we are taking about Delta variant? Too many inconsistencies for me. Has anyone looked at the stealth ratio? Cmon people.

  • What’s wrong with giving the teachers and parents their choice in whether wearing a mask? If you feel safer wearing a mask knock yourself out but don’t force others to do this too. If you’ve been vaccinated you should be safe. The Education Union are the ones causing divisive politics.

  • To borrow an idea from a movie, (A Few Good Men):

    Conservative: “You said your kids respect you and follow your rules.”

    Liberal: “I know what I said.”

    Conservative: “You said your kids shouldn’t have the freedoms of some of the other kids whose parents aren’t brainwashed by big government control.”

    Liberal: “I think all kids should have the same rules as my child.”

    Conservative: “I could remind you the email you sent.”

    Liberal: “I know what I sent.”

    Conservative: “One last question just so others can get a glimpse into the illusion you and others are attempting to force upon everyone else. If you gave an order that your child has to wear a mask, and your orders are always followed, then why would you need the governor to make the additional order?”

    Liberal: “You want the truth?”

    Conservative: “People deserve to know the truth.”

    Liberal: “We live in a country that believes in giving freedoms and rights to all legal citizens. People like myself don’t believe in that. People want us making decisions for them, providing an income for them, giving them the food they need to live. While you may not agree, you don’t have the right to disagree. We don’t want you to have that right. Local government wants you to fall in line! Federal governments wants you to bow down and believe they want what’s best for you!”

    Conservative: “Do you believe what you’re saying?”

    Liberal: “Like I said…”

    Conservative: “Do you really believe that?”

    Liberal: “They made me say it! Told me I would be cancelled if I didn’t say it! I want what every parent wants, the best, safest education I can get for my child that will afford them the opportunities to be successful and prosper in their lives but they said only if I would promote their covert agendas would that happen.”

    Conservative: “Thank you for FINALLY giving us a glimpse into the mind of a liberal ideology believer. Hopefully you realize you don’t have anything you need to apologize for and you can be the parent in your household. You can be the person exerting the greatest influence on your child’s future.”

  • A solution? do away with public teachers unions
    Or make it illegal for them to strike and not work.

    • The commie teachers are torturing the children…
      “Hey, Teacher! Leave them kids alone!”..” we don’t need no, education …we don’t need no, thought control”…

    • It’s seems public schools have turned into “commie
      Induction camps”….kids have to wear a mask, but no
      Pledge of allegiance to the flag or national anthem…
      Marxism,CRT, Equity, Climate Change, etc. is what they
      Are teaching your kids…”it takes a village to raise a child”? Only in communist countries…it’s the parents’
      Job to teach and feed and educate their own kids..
      Don’t breed em if you can’t educate and feed them yourself..it’s called personal responsibility…

  • Jim A – to answer your question: your & Governor DeSantis “choice” is a Hobson’s Choice.
    Proponents of “masking” believe it only works if universally applied, like it currently is required on an airplane or school bus. So “optional” is to pro-mask folks equivalent to being offered no masking (all or none in other words)
    Parents need a real choice not a Hobson’s!

    • By George…was wondering when some ideological liberal would chime in. You fail to understand what you just said or you acknowledge what has already been mentioned. Liberals want school systems and government to be in control until it comes to “discipline,” then it’s hand’s off. Not your child and you don’t have the right to discipline my child according to your beliefs. It’s not beliefs, they’re called rules.

      Using your very own reasoning of “Hobson’s choice,” doesn’t being a parent use that same thinking? Do what I said or suffer the consequences of your decision to not do as I told you.

      DeSantis is giving parents the opportunity to exercise their rights as parents. If you want your child to wear a mask, have them wear one. If not, don’t. Either your child’s mask and combination with the vaccine will afford you protection or it won’t. Don’t you have the faith and trust that your children will do as they’ve been told?

  • Teachers in Unions should have to have VAX & masks and
    For everyone else, optional… you are in control of
    Your own body and medical decisions
    The public education system is a public service like
    Trash collection…the garbage has to be picked up.
    If all government union workers get the mask & the
    Vax, then they will be ok…right? Because masks &
    Vaxes work! Teach the children the ABC’s & math
    And about freedom liberty, & the US constitution…

    • That doesn’t fall in line with their very own ideology. They want someone to be in control of someone else’s lives but not theirs.

      Case in point…my child’s teacher – who is under 30, during the peak of the pandemic last year, refused to teach in a brick and mortar environment. Yet they were not afraid or hindered to go to a restaurant with their family in tow. I believe I’ve mentioned it before… HYPOCRISY.

      Even in this specific article, what happened to their belief in equity? They don’t want a 1st year teacher making what a 15 year teacher. Typical liberal mentality, they want it one way unless it applies to them.

      • Brick and mortar schools need to be open, teachers must teach “in-person” or not get paid. My grandpa
        Used to work on the railroad, and when there was a strike, it was his job to keep the railroad going…he
        Was a strike breaker. The state needs to get teachers
        In the classroom…if the union teachers won’t work because of Covid fear, put teachers in who want to work… stop traumatizing the children with the death
        Card and let them have a childhood.

  • Teachers unions must want more illegal alien minors here, too. That’ll help everybody just in time for the 2022 election.

  • Too many “educators” are pin headed, neurotic, paranoid bed wetters. And very few of them are even good teachers. Home school. You’re better off and your kids will thank you.

  • If you have not taught your kids the benefits of wearing a mask then you have failed as a parent and should not have bred. This is about OTHERS and not standing up for selfish ignorant trumper “values”.

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