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Republican Stronghold Fights Back Against DeSantis’ Refusal to Protect Florida Children

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A Republican county in Florida that Trump carried in 2020 is taking a stand against Ron DeSantis’ crusade against safety for children. In “heavily Republican-leaning” Sarasota County, the school board voted to require students wear masks in schools, directly defying DeSantis, who signed an executive order prohibiting local schools from making their own decisions to keep kids safe.

Sarasota County joins school boards in several of Florida’s largest counties who are standing up for their students — despite threats from DeSantis, who continues to put his own politics ahead of children’s safety. DeSantis’ administration even threatened to withhold salaries from school board members who defy his orders and choose to implement basic public health and safety regulations for children.

The backlash from local school boards is just the latest example of how DeSantis is getting slammed for his abysmal handling of the latest COVID-19 surge in all parts of the state — from deep red to solid blue. Carlos Hernandez, the Republican mayor of a community in Miami-Dade County recently called DeSantis “a dictator” for prohibiting local governments from implementing life-saving COVID-19 protections.

As the COVID surge in Florida unravels into a “crisis of unprecedented proportions,” DeSantis has also been criticized by more than 800 in-state doctorsparentsmajor industries in Florida, and front-line workers.

“As Ron DeSantis refuses to care for the health and safety of Florida children, even his fellow Republicans are standing up to his dangerous and increasingly unpopular partisan agenda,” said DGA Deputy Communications Director Sam Newton. “DeSantis’s lack of leadership on COVID has universally failed all Floridians, whether they’re a Democrat, Republican, a parent, business owner, teacher, or health care worker. Voters won’t forget how DeSantis put his own politics ahead of the health and safety of their kids in 2022.”