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Senator Farmer, District 34 — Press Release


July 30, 2021

CONTACT: Jake Flaherty, (850) 487-5098

Broward County Senator Gary Farmer Defends School Mask Mandate

Fort Lauderdale —

State Senator Gary Farmer who represents all of coastal Broward County issued the following statement today in response to news that Governor DeSantis would be issuing an executive order to invalidate the Broward County School Board’s decision to mandate masks in public schools:

“This latest action from our governor is nothing short than an attempt to play politics at the expense of our children’s health and safety. The CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics and medical professionals around the globe are currently urging children to wear masks in schools due to the increased danger of the delta variant. Meanwhile Governor DeSantis has decided to cast all care for our kids aside as he puts them at risk simply to further his own selfish political ambitions.” said Senator Farmer.

“Governor DeSantis likes to say that parents should have a choice, and the fact is that when it comes to school policies like this they already do. The choice that we all made was at the ballot box, when we entrusted the members of the Broward County School Board to act in the best interests of our children, which they did by issuing this mask mandate. Thomas Jefferson so rightly stated that ‘the government closest to the people serves the people best.’ The ability for local governments to make choices based on the needs of their individual communities is what allows diverse states like Florida to function, and unfortunately Governor DeSantis is taking a sledgehammer to this very important process.

“The Broward County School Board was and is right in their decision to mandate masks in our schools. The science and evidence is crystal clear, the delta variant poses a significantly higher threat to younger people than previous iterations of the virus, and actions must be taken to ensure the protection of our children as they return to school. This is not an opinion, it is a fact clearly demonstrated by the more than 16,000 children have been hospitalized from COVID-19 this month alone. If this is not enough to pull on the heartstrings of Ron DeSantis, I question whether he even has a heart at all.” said Senator Farmer.

Senator Farmer concluded his statement by saying, “If this order by Governor DeSantis does prevent us from protecting children in Broward County as he intends, I hope that we do have a Special Session, but for the purpose of reinstating the local control that will protect our kids instead of throwing them into harm’s way. I will do everything in my power to defend our school board’s policy and to keep our kids safe and healthy.”