Florida Governor Ron DeSantis lamented drawn-out school closures nationwide, calling the move to shutter schools amid the coronavirus pandemic one of the nation’s biggest “public health mistakes.”
Gov. DeSantis made the comments last Friday on the Drew Steele radio show, according to News 6.
Back in March, Florida shut down schools and college campuses, switching to online learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
Now, DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran are pushing hard for schools across the state to open up for in-person learning.
“In March we may not have had all the information, but in hindsight, knowing what we know now, the closure of schools was one of the biggest public health mistakes in modern American history,” DeSantis said. “And I think even Europe has said we shouldn’t have closed up.”
DeSantis told Steele that as the virus spiked in Florida over the summer, he came into conflict with people who didn’t want to reopen schools because he expected the outbreak to abate and because children “are not vectors” for spreading the virus.
“So, now we’re at the point where the people who advocate school closures are really the flat earthers of our day,” DeSantis declared. “They’re not doing it based on data. They’re not doing it based on evidence. They’re doing it based on either politics or emotion. And so, the harm of school closures, I think, is really considerable.”
More than one million students have returned to classrooms across the state, DeSantis went on.
“I’m a big supporter of homeschooling for those who want to do it. But you know, we’ve got a lot of blue-collar families and working mothers who have to go to work,” DeSantis concluded. “They just don’t have the luxury of being able to do that. Taking away face-to-face instruction means their kids fall behind tremendously.”
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