Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis fought back against Florida school boards, saying, “It’s the United States of America not the United School Boards,” as he signed pro-medical freedom legislation protecting Florida workers and students from vaccine and mask mandates.
“The states are the primary vehicles to protect people’s freedom, their health, their safety, their welfare in our constitutional system,” DeSantis said Thursday.
The governor also blasted Joe Biden’s “unconstitutional” vaccine mandate as he took hits at local governments in the state that sought to lockdown businesses and schools in 2020.
“These local governments wanted to lockdown businesses; they wanted to force mandates; they wanted to keep the kids locked out of school. You’re damn right I overruled them on that because they were wrong,” DeSantis said. “The fact of the matter is, you don’t have the right to do wrong. If I had not stepped in last year and made sure that these local governments couldn’t lock you down, couldn’t mandate, we wouldn’t let them fine – we had kids in school last year because of me, not because of them.”
As part of DeSantis’ new Protect Florida Jobs initiative, educational institutions are prohibited from mandating all students to wear masks or be vaccinated, while allowing parents to sue school districts that violate the orders.
In July, DeSantis issued an executive order prohibiting school districts from implementing mask mandates, empowering parents to make the best choices for their children.
“On June 29, 2021, I signed into law H.B. 241, the Parents’ Bill of Rights, which prevents the state, its subdivisions, or any governmental institution, from infringing on the fundamental rights of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, health care, or mental health of a minor child without demonstrating that such action is reasonable and necessary to achieve a compelling state interest and that such action is narrowly tailored and is not otherwise served by less restrictive means,” the order stated. “Pursuant to Florida law, all parents have the right to make health care decisions for their minor children.”
The governor is currently in the midst of a lawsuit against the Biden administration over the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration’s (OSHA) vaccine mandate for employers, which a federal court recently blocked.
“The State of Florida will immediately challenge the OSHA rule in court because it’s inconsistent with the Constitution and not legally authorized through Congressional statutes,” the governor said during a press briefing. “There is no federal police power, and the federal government cannot unilaterally impose medical policy under the guise of workplace regulation. Individuals should make informed choices about their own healthcare. It is important to stand up for people’s individual ability to make decisions for themselves.”