Gov. DeSantis warns Brevard Public Schools could face fines for mask mandate

Gov. DeSantis warns Florida school districts to face financial punishment

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Speaking at an appearance at Brevard County’s health department, across the street from school district headquarters, Gov. Ron DeSantis Wednesday warned Brevard Public Schools could become another Florida district facing financial punishment for mandating face coverings.

The state’s education authority is already targeting Broward and Alachua counties.

“I think there have been some local authorities who have violated the law,” the governor said. “The board of education has withheld salaries from the elected politicians and that’s something that I think will probably be in the hopper for stuff going forward,” he continued.

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DeSantis also addressed his intent to appeal a judge’s ruling that the governor overstepped his authority by banning school mask mandates, but not before school board member Jennifer Jenkins was asked to leave.

Jenkins, who voted for the district’s 30-day mask mandate, was told the governor’s appearance was closed to the public.

“We are literally dying and we are making the right choice across the state and especially here in Brevard,” Jenkins said.

The BPS board member said that this year four district employees died after COVID exposure and two students right now are in the ICU.

“I really hope he switches gears and focuses on supporting this school system instead of talking about the ways in which we are not supporting him,” Jenkins said about the governor.

State Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, said Jenkins and Brevard Schools can expect a letter of non-compliance from the Florida Department of Education.

“They don’t deserve to get paid,” Fine said.

About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.