DeSantis-supported school board officials in Florida have begun firing teachers in some of the state’s public schools.
The midterm elections are over, but the fallout from campaigning hangs on as conservative school board candidates who received backing from Governor Ron DeSantis have begun removing some schools’ leaders who oversaw the enforcement of policies to support the rights of parents, an issue tackled by Florida’s controversial Parental Rights in Education bill, signed into law in March 2022 (also referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, though no part of the law says “don’t say gay”) and an issue affected by some Florida schools’ imposed mask mandates in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the month of November, three superintendents were purged, whether directly or indirectly, from their respective school districts, each of which has ties to Governor DeSantis. In just one week’s time, two of those three superintendents left their posts.
In Brevard County and Sarasota County, school leaders were faced with pressure from newly-installed, “GOP-leaning” board members. The superintendent in each county left voluntarily–or quasi-voluntarily–as the only other option was for each to be at the center of a vote on their respective terminations. In Broward County, the superintendent of schools was fired, thanks to the efforts of five school board members appointed by DeSantis.
“We had a wave in school districts that spit in parents’ faces,” said state Rep. Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay), who fought to punish schools that forced mask mandates. “And now the people who did that are gone.”