American Academy of Pediatrics urges Gov. DeSantis to reconsider reopening schools

DeSantis responds to letter at news conference

Governor DeSantis is unwavering in his plan to reopen all Florida schools for the upcoming year.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY – Gov. Ron DeSantis on Saturday defended his plan to reopen schools for the upcoming academic year, even as the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics on Thursday sent a letter to his office, asking that he reconsider allowing school districts to resume face-to-face learning.

DeSantis said that distance learning just isn’t the same as in-person classes and that the quality of education suffers in that format.

“There’s a lot of parents who’ve seen a regression in academics and have seen their kids miss some of the great things about being in school,” DeSantis said during an afternoon news conference at Flagler Hospital. “If [parents are] not comfortable with their kid going back to school setting, they should have the right to make that choice.”

DeSantis said schools need to have the option to hold in-person classes, but the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics disagrees.

“If children go to school with such high infection rates, schools will be forced to close very quickly after opening, and many children and families will likely become ill with SARS-CoV-2,” the letter said.

DeSantis said he hadn’t seen the letter but added: “Parents should be able to make the decision that’s best for their kid. If they’re not comfortable with their kid going back to a school setting, I think they should have the right to make that choice.”

DeSantis also recited some research that he said demonstrates that infections from children to adults are very rare. The letter acknowledges those studies but adds that “less of a risk” doesn’t mean no risk.

"I'm going to be doing a lot more personally getting involved to just help some of the school districts," DeSantis said. "We have different parts of the state dealing with different type of epidemic."

https://www.clickorlando.com/topic/back_to_school/

This comes one day after the Orange County School board voted on a plan to send to the state.

All but two board members voted in favor of submitting the launch-ed option plus a waiver for local control on deciding when to re-open.


About the Author:

It has been an absolute pleasure for Clay LePard living and working in Orlando since he joined News 6 in July 2017. Previously, Clay worked at WNEP TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he brought viewers along to witness everything from unprecedented access to the Tobyhanna Army Depot to an interview with convicted double-murderer Hugo Selenski.