Gov. DeSantis calls for a ‘normal school year’ in the fall

South Florida Sun Sentinel | by Skyler Swisher | May 11, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis gave his advice Tuesday for educators planning for the fall semester: “Have a normal school year.”

DeSantis said he doesn’t think masks and other COVID-19 safeguards will be needed next school year.

“Our direction is relatively simple: Have a normal school year. … These kids do not need to be wearing these masks,” DeSantis said in response to a reporter’s question in Jacksonville. “We need to be able to let them be kids.”

Last month, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran wrote a memo to school superintendents telling them they should drop mask mandates for the 2021-22 school year. He encouraged districts to make mask-wearing voluntary.

Students in South Florida’s public schools must wear masks. Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade school districts all say they still require them.

Districts have not announced their plans for next school year. School officials say they are monitoring conditions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest guidance calls for at least 3 feet of separation between students if universal masking is in place. Six feet of separation is needed for activities, such as eating, in which masks can’t be worn.

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