Citing local statistics related to COVID, Leon County Superintendent Rocky Hanna has sent a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis seeking the authority to implement a Pre-K–8 mask mandate.
In the request, provided below, Hanna states he has changed his position on masks due, in part, to the hospitalization of four children in Leon County. In addition, Hanna writes that two Pre-K teachers “are currently in the Intensive Care Unit at one of our local hospitals.”
Hanna is asking DeSantis “to allow us the flexibility and the autonomy to make the decisions for our schools that best fit our local data and information in Leon County. At this time, we would like to implement a temporary mask requirement in grades Pre-K—8, in order to help reduce the community positivity rate.”
Hanna’s Letter to Gov. DeSantis
Dear Governor DeSantis,
First, I would like to thank you for ensuring our schools opened last fall. While many schools across the country remained closed, schools in Florida kept their doors open. Given the circumstances, what we accomplished last year was remarkable.
When school ended last June, I announced to our community that masks would become optional for summer programs in Leon County and would remain optional when our students returned to begin the new school year this August. Given the totality of the circumstances at the end of the school year, I completely agreed with your position that families should make their own mask wearing decisions.
Governor DeSantis there were two driving factors that lead me to make that decision in June:
First, data did not reflect that the virus was having a serious negative health impact on our school-aged children. Over the course of the entire school year we had just over 800 in-person students test positive for COVID-19. Over the same period of time, there were zero hospitalizations of children 5 to 11, four hospitalizations of children 12 to 18, and zero deaths. The data also proved that school-aged children were not spreading the Coronavirus-19 to other members of their family- as once feared.
The second reason that impacted my decision to allow for optional mask wearing was the social and emotional impact that wearing masks was having on our students. I visited every one of our 42 school campuses during both the fall and spring. I saw the light in our students’ eyes dim over the course of the year. In fact, our internal data reflected an uptick in mental health referrals.
I have spent the better part of the summer steadfastly informing my community of these two facts as the rationale for optional masking in the fall. Publicly, I have said many times that it was my decision and that I was in complete agreement with you.
Governor, over the past two weeks, it has become clear that the Delta variant and its effect on school-age children is very different than the original Alpha version of the virus. What scientists learn about the Delta variant continues to grow; however, we already know that the Delta variant is significantly more contagious than the Alpha variant.
Complicating matters is that our classrooms will be much denser this year than last year. Many more parents will be sending their children to in-person learning this August. We will make every effort to socially distance as much as possible; however, it will be challenging.
Over the last 60 days, I have stood firm in my belief that a mask mandate was the wrong course of action. With that said, I believe that new data and information as well as student instructional models compels us to rethink mask protocols. School-wide mask wearing is a proven, mitigating strategy to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
In the last ten days alone, before school has even opened, four school-aged children in Leon County have been admitted to local hospitals. Two of our Pre-K teachers are currently in the Intensive Care Unit at one of our local hospitals. According to local health officials, cases of positive, symptomatic minors are skyrocketing. Our county positivity rate is above 14% and, three times higher compared to August of last year. I cannot ignore our latest local data and information.
I have said throughout this process that my decisions would be guided by science and local health data. This week I have met with our principals, health experts, doctors, local leaders, parents, and students. These conversations have informed my current position regarding Leon County Schools and masks.
Governor, please understand that districts across the State of Florida have their own local communities to answer to in a different manner than you. They say all politics is local. I’m asking you to allow us the flexibility and the autonomy to make the decisions for our schools that best fit our local data and information in Leon County. At this time, we would like to implement a temporary mask requirement in grades Pre-K—8, in order to help reduce the community positivity rate. These students are most vulnerable as they are not yet eligible to be vaccinated.
One size doesn’t fit all 67 counties and 2.6 million students. Just as you stand up for the sovereignty of the State of Florida from federal mandates and executive orders, I too must advocate on behalf of my community and my school children.
We do not know each other personally, but I am sure we both entered public service because we wanted to help make our community, our state and our country a better place. We may even want to inspire the next generation of young people to become the next Governor or a School Superintendent. Like you, I am a product of our public schools. I have dedicated my entire career to education and helping children succeed in life. One thing has always guided every decision I have ever made—the safety and well-being of our children.
It is the challenge of every leader to not allow pride or politics cloud our better judgement, and to be guided by community input, science and experts in the field. Because the COVID-19 landscape continues to evolve, as Superintendent, I’m learning that no matter how far you may have gone down a road, it is never too late to turn back and make a choice that is best for the community as a whole.
Given the Delta variant and the science emerging from it, I am urging you to join me in helping to keep our children safe from COVID-19, and to allow school districts the autonomy to choose what is best for their community.
Put masks on all the little bastards., and VAX them up! Follow the Science! WASH YOUR FUCKING HANDS!
Some people will only learn the truth when they themselves are on a vent and dying. Aren’t your grandchildren’s lives more important than Ron DeSantis failing to protect all Florida children. No it isn’t people at the border spreading Delta- it is everyone around us vac or not- this is not the original Covid- it is much much worse. Blaming cures nothing- masks at least stop some of the transmission. You are forced to wear pants, have a drivers license and pay taxes- man up and start protecting our Florida school kids- mandate masks- it won’t kill them- Covid will.
That is an excellent idea!
Have buses waiting at the border… the first load goes to Amelia Island Special Delivery to Vince Long and Rocky Hanna where they will be welcoming the illegal aliens and handing out masks and have a tent to force vaccines.
Second bus load goes to Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff, the White House. The Texas governor can have his National Guard set up at each location. If the Democrats want to continually purposefully ignore the problems just set it up in their own front yards and it might get their attention. Problem solved.
I get everyone’s frustrations, between Fauchi and the CDC changing their minds every other day, you don’t know WHAT to believe. Like the Governor told Biden, “Don’t blame Florida for YOUR mess”. The second Biden told DeSantis to “do something or step out of the way”, DeSantis should have said, “I’ll do something” and started rounding up all the illegals and shipping them all to DC in the middle of the Night. Texas and Florida has the Covid Spikes BECAUSE of all the illegals.
Never, ever, ever give commie Democrats a way out! To the untrained eye this simply feels no different, fill out the required opt-out paperwork and just the same, your kid doesn’t have to wear a mask. Has DeSantis been asleep, democrats will use such a tool for all it is worth. Now the form wasn’t filled correctly, or you need a better reason on the form, or it was lost and you’ll need to file it again. Democrats are bureaucrats and love it when a new form must be filled.
Now we have to jump through yet another hoop whereas before DeSantis could have said, “Rocko, you can mandate that all student’s have to come to school in a pressurized space suit. But if they come to school without one then you still have to educate them without punishing them or treating them any differently than any other student. And you cannot even ask them why they are not wearing a space suit or ask them to fill out an opt-out form”
DeSantis – your next few months are going to be tough. Whether you work with Democrats on these very pointed issues or not, they will still accuse you of killing people with Covid during election time. You won’t gain their votes, you’ll only lose votes of people like me, who vowed to never participate again after the Trump election theft and only feel like jumping on board your train because of your actions regarding the perpetual Covid narrative.
I believe Roseanne Woods on the school board just exposed that masks DON’T work and may even be the cause of getting COVID.
Have we been misled by Fauchi and the CDC? Stand Down Rocky Hanna and Vince Long you have been exposed as political pawns.
We will be watching to see if you and your numerous members of your staff attending on the taxpayers dime wear your masks at the Buffalo Pool Party.
And I knew spineless Rocky would cave to the promask minority.
I just read Rosanne Wood is covid positive and she’s blaming the July 27th board meeting. Let’s see she was vaccinated and wearing a mask, but it’s the mask less unvaccinated hoard everyone blames. Maybe the vaccines and masks aren’t working? Weird!?!?
@Lena – look if you and or your kid wear the face diaper and get the antifreeze jab, y’all are “protected” right???? And that’s fine. You will be safe and that’s all YOU should worry about…..If we don’t want to be protected (some of us think our God given immune system does something for a reason) then we can make that CHOICE. Just slip into a bubble and you should be just fine, we will be reckless.
Thank you @Lena, sorry, I meant to say Karen, for proving what an invincibly ignorant Branch Covidian Cultist sounds like. You put more faith in an institution run by your Pope Fauci than you do in actual real science. You put more faith in him, despite his funding to the University of Pittsburgh for experimenting on aborted fetuses and grafting their scalps on mice (look it up). Your cult will trust these murderous psychopaths with dictating to you about your health and our children’s health and force an experimental clot shot on you and our kids as well as prevent them from breathing. That is the very definition of child abuse, full stop.
If only Lena cared as much for the millions of innocent babies (particularly in communities of color) who are murdered each year under the guise of “Women’s Healthcare”. I wonder if face diapers would protect them too!
Lay off the pharmaceuticals, Lena, and get some help before you hurt yourself or someone else.
Not getting a vaccine and not wearing a mask means you are making health choices for the people around you. Not just yourself.
Allowing your infected kids to be around healthy kids and teachers means you are making health choices for them too.
That is unacceptable.
This shouldn’t even be up for debate.
It seems that LCS has found a backdoor. Since they cannot force the youngsters to wear masks, they have found a more subtle means to fear monger. It is my understanding that LCS has mandated that all personnel wear masks indoors beginning Monday, August 9. There’s nothing like seeing every adult in sight wearing masks to “encourage” the reluctant or resistant tykes and the parents to see the urgency of the day.
resistant students to wear them.
Commonly used masks, not the N95 professional types, may not be quite as effective as you’ve been led to believe.
If masks are supposed to filter-out extremely small microscopic COVID particles, why can I still smell the french-fries at McDonalds when I walk-in with my nose and mouth fully covered by my mask?
Give that some thought while you enjoy your Big Mac.
The officials calling for preschoolers and kindergarteners to wear masks 6-7 hours a day have obviously never been around little kids. As being a parent of three it’s hard enough to get kids to wash their hands or not eat food off the floor. Most kids I’ve seen wear cloth masks, do you really think their parents are washing those everyday? There more likely to be more germs on the mask than the mask is blocking. If some parents want to mask theirs kids let them do so, but don’t expect a cut up t-shirt to provide any real protection.
@Lena – you wear your little safety face diaper all you want and get your little poision jab, no one says you can’t, but we as free Americans have the right to make our own decisions about OUR bodies and health….right…. our own CHOICE….right…. or is it only our right our choice our body when it fits the lefts narratives regarding abortion? I rest my case.
This forum is very tolerant of freedom of speech but you are spewing misinformation and vitriolic hatred. I choose not to read anything more from you.
Perhaps another Forum would be more appropriate for you.
@ Edward Lyle – yes!
The pandemic is now worse than it’s ever been.
It’s worse than last summer or after Christmas.
Yet, DeSantis refuses to do ANYTHING.
He doesn’t mind if we die, but the Republicans who refuse vaccines and masks are going to go first.
At the beginning of the local surge last year, I knew a staunch local Trumpie Republican who was as stupidly adamant as the rest of you that the virus was “scam.” I knew he’d never make it through this. And he didn’t. He was among the first to go.
You people have had warning after warning and still you are just as GD dumb as you were before.
Your dumbo leader is killing you. You might want to stop him from killing your kids, too. Mask mandates should be everywhere, including schools.
Don’t forget that the Hospital gets an additional $28,000 per patient that is diagnosed with Covid. If you think money isn’t dictating the “numbers”, than you’re naïve. It’s always about the money.
It’s a “Scamdemic”… and everyone knows it.
In a roundtable with DeSantis a group of hospital CEO’s said that many of the Covid hospitalizations they are reporting are patients that are admitted for other reasons and then test positive for Covid. This drives hospitalizations because everybody is tested when you go to the hospital.
I think Lena misspelled her own name. I’ve always known her as Loonah. As in Loon like…
JUST SAY NO
Rocky is trying to have it both ways.
Well said @Snidely. There’s the Rocky we all know and despise. I knew he couldn’t hold out long. Hanna showing us the child abusing gutless Covidstan Cultist that he truly is along with most of the other Kommissars on the Scruel Board. And to the rest of you sociopathic cultists, if the entire year and half have not shown you the utter futility of wearing Chicom face diapers around the world and re-breathing your own excrement then continue to wallow in your invincible ignorance. Your Chicom face diapers can no more stop a virus from infecting your vile cult body than a screen door on a submarine can stop the water from coming in.
Yes, the delta scariant is more contagious but far less deadly than the alpha scariant so calm yourselves Karens. And yes, the Pfizer clot shot is already wearing off for most folks who got it and it appears those folks are getting hit hard and possibly facilitating further mutations. In a short time we will see if these filthy clot shots are creating the worst case scenario, Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). Well done to you cultists who ran out there at the first sign and got your clot shots. Bravo for following the Big Pharma/Gov/Med/Media Cartel endless stream of panic porn with zero context.
The slanted poll was geared to Christ supporters so it means nothing.
Perhaps you should expend your energy on asking for the securing of the border and asking why they are purposefully not doing so.
I would worry more about Biden being removed from office for dereliction of duty and you should thank Governor DeSantis for doing Biden’s job.
This is gonna be interesting to see what DeSantis well do.
Vince Long has already appeared on CNN regarding his defiance to DeSantis. Rocky saw his shot at CNN fame and will have his very own CNN debut soon.
No I dont think Mayor Daily will be selected next to the CNN gig. Daily with his typical breeder look just does not have the face CNN is looking for. However Reese Goad would be a good fit for CNN with his LGBTQ cultivated appearance. Yeah CNN would take Goad over Daily every day. Now that I think about it Vince and Rocky also have the same cultivated appearance that Reese has.
Florida politics has always been a downright dirty mud slinging event. Now we must factor in woke status, LGBTQ status, and God knows what’s next status. Y’all should be glad you got Snidely to ‘splain it all to you.
You just gotta know CNN is fishing very hard to get DeSantis to make that next “Monkey It Up” statement which almost lost Florida to that twisted perv Gillum.
Buckle Up my local friends. Florida politics is not for the faint of heart.
Hanna just sealed his fate when he comes up for re-election. He has no business asking DeSantis to impose anything that takes the rights out of parents hands on what to do with their own kids! He’s not God! I guarantee you my kid won’t be wearing a mask at school!
Cheers for Hanna trying to responsible instead of kissing up to insane Republicans.
Here’s an update for ‘ya.
If you make the teachers sick with a stupid irresponsible ban on masks like DeSantis wants to appease the idiot Republican base, there is no school.
No teachers=no school.
No wonder Charlie is beating DeSantis in the polls. I’m SO looking forward to voting for a REAL governor.
@ Anita… the Science is Published and Settled. Face diapers do not protect anyone from Covid… and furthermore, neither does the 2 shots of sugar water and fertilizer runoff. The best thing a parent can do to protect their children is get them the he// out of the Public Indoctrination System as soon as possible.
Lay off the liberal Media PACs, Fakebook, Twidiot, Instscam, Foolgle, and Sick Tok…
… think for yourself… trust me, you’ll feel better about life and your future
The PCR test results are easily manipulated based on the amount of cycles. Everyone assumes a COVID hospital admission = death’s doorstep. Wrong. The hospitals are getting paid significant amounts of money to produce admitted patients.
Notice the 3 hospital cases he sited was for an age group that goes to 25? It appears he gives specifics when he thinks it helps his position and provides generalities (doesn’t site current hospitalizations) when it might not. Untrustworthy.
My understanding is the delta variant is more contagious than the alpha variant but less lethal. That it is natural for a coronavirus to mutate until it is a common cold – easy to get but harmless.
Maybe the children in the hospital have underlying conditions.
Until the political left starts demanding that the southern border be secured, I have every reason to assume their public health concerns are political and totalitarian tactics.
Thank you Anita.
It’s good to know that there is at least one sane person here. If wearing a mask is my biggest problem then I am gold!
Bar Talk: Nikki Fried want Rocky as Lt. Gov. Both are crazy as He’ll.
I’ve just read some foolish responses to Rocky Hanna’s letter. Are you not aware of what’s happening? Look at Children’s Hospitals that are filling up with Covid cases. THIS IS NOT ABOUT POLITICS!!! This is about children’s health and life. If you have children or grandchildren under 12, you should be doing all you can do to protect them. That includes the uncomfortable wearing of masks at school.
Well, one good thing about Covid is, it cured the Common Cold and the Flu. I haven’t known anyone to have either in the past two years.
I want to know if Hannah is related to and knows the 4 Kids in the Hospital. It usually has to hit close to home before an Elected Official will do something.
County Administrator Vince Long and School Superintendent Rocky Hanna NOT asking Biden to secure the borders?
Two leftist wing nuts falling in line creating political theater and a poor attempt trying to make themselves appear as humanitarians.
Yet they are ready to attend the Amelia Island public nonsense Full Speed Ahead, and there are no mandates on masks and vaccinations there.
They fool no one but themselves…
Trying to have it both ways!
“Hanna Asks DeSantis to Allow Mask Mandate in Leon County Schools”
Translation: “Psychopath Asks Governor to Allow Him to Harm Leon County Children Even More Than He Already Has”
Get your kids out of the Public Indoctrination System as fast as you can.
Suffocate them so they won’t get sick. Great idea.
Why are folks so worked-up about Covid?
Did you know local governments put chemicals in their drinking water systems?
Farmers, golf courses, etc., use chemicals that may leach into the water supply as well.
Before you know it we will all be golfing farmers who are nothing but pawns of Government being told who to vote for…
I bet somebody was threatening Hannah! He has no balls!
Governor DeSantis mask do not work, please do not do this.