If parents claim that their children are bullied as a result of a district’s mask-wearing rules, Florida will grant private school vouchers, AP reports.
The Florida Department of Education has approved an emergency measure that allows parents to use private school vouchers to transfer their children out of schools that impose mask mandates.
The Florida Board of Education has approved an emergency rule allowing parents to use private school vouchers if they believe their children are being harassed by a school district’s COVID-19 safety policies, which include mask requirements. The vouchers could be requested by the parents under provisions normally used to protect bullied children.
The meeting was scheduled a week after Gov. Ron DeSantis directed the department to devise methods for school districts that require mask-wearing to provide other options for parents, claiming the legal right to make decisions about their children’s health and education.
“COVID-19 harassment means any threatening, discriminatory, insulting, or dehumanizing verbal, written or physical conduct an individual student suffers in relation to, or as a result of, school district protocols for COVID-19, including masking requirements, the separation or isolation of students, or COVID-19 testing requirements, that have the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance,” the rule reads.