Q&A Of The Day – What’s In Florida’s Parental Bill Of Rights? Part 1
Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods.
Parler & Twitter: @brianmuddradio
Today’s entry: Greetings Brian. I appreciate your calm cool and collective pragmatic approach to thinking things through. Here is what I sent the local board… Greetings to whom it may concern on this board. I am a concerned parent who loves his daughter and cares for other children to be sure. In regard to your recent decision to change your position regarding mandating masks, in violation of the Governors order, I am very disappointed. I can give you the benefit of the doubt that your intentions are pure, albeit misguided in my humble opinion. I am not writing to discuss the efficacy of masks in regard to COVID or their potential negative side effects to our children wearing them all day. I am simply taking a stand in this email for CHOICE. At this time, I have only one person that I am truly responsible for, and that is my daughter. I opted out of the masking policy as it is my personal belief that her being forced to wear a mask all day is not in her best interest. If other parents believe in that for their children, I am in no position to argue or influence them to the contrary. However, I also don’t believe you have the right to force any child against their families’ wishes to wear one. Not only does it violate my rights as a parent, it also violates State law. The provision was to allow for CHOICE, and it seemed that many children or their parents had decided to go with masking. That is totally within their rights and at this point I am not arguing otherwise. I am again, simply taking a stand for OUR DAUGHTER and OUR RIGHTS as her parent. I implore you as reasonable people to recognize the family's rights to decide what is best for our children. I like to think that you are thinking that this decision is what is best, yet it is incongruent on many levels and takes us down a very slippery slope of freedom and much much more.
Thank you in advance for allowing Families choose what is best for our children.
Bottom Line: I’ve had a number of parents ask me about Florida’s recently enacted “Parental Bill of Rights” within the context of the school mask mandate debate. This note is a great example to dive into the topic. There have been two arguments used by many parents who’ve opposed the school mask mandates and are currently being used by the state in the legal battle playing out in Leon Country’s Circuit Court. Studies which have shown less teaching and learning taking place with masks on, in addition negative health effects many students have been shown to experience when forced to wear masks for long durations of time. The other, the law protecting parental rights which recently passed in Florida. Here’s a look at what’s actually in that law.
The legislation known as the Parents’ Bill of Rights, was signed into law by Governor DeSantis in June and took effect July 1st. The timing is meaningful in the context of the mask mandate debate because this is a new law implemented between school years. While 47 school districts in Florida, including all South Florida districts, imposed mask mandates last year – 20 districts didn’t. As I referenced yesterday, the state presented evidence that the non-mandatory districts experienced only a 0.2% higher COVID-19 rate compared with those with mandatory policies in place. So that’s new information for everyone’s consideration. But about the other question. Are school mask mandates even legal under the recently enacted Parent’s Bill of Rights?
The summary of the law reads: Provides parental rights relating to a minor child's education, upbringing, & health care; provides school district, health care practitioner, hospital requirements & specified penalties. Well, it does specifically cite parental rights over a child’s education and health care – so it seems like there’s something to the argument. I’ll dive into what’s specifically in it in the second part of today’s Q&A.