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Will Florida Schools Bend The New Quarantine Rules? Union Suggests It Could Ensure Students' Safety

Children raising hands in class
Pasco County Schools
The Florida Education Association says the new rule could put teachers and school employees at risk by exposing them to students who should be quarantining at home.

Florida's largest public school union is decrying the state's new ruling that students who are exposed to COVID-19 can stay in school unless they develop symptoms. But some schools might be tempted to bend the rule.

Florida's largest public school union is decrying the state's new ruling that students who are exposed to COVID-19 can stay in school unless they develop symptoms.

But some schools might be tempted to bend the rule.

The Florida Education Association says the new rule could put teachers and school employees at risk by exposing them to students who should be quarantining at home.

Association Vice President Carole Gauronskas said she foresees a situation where some schools might defy the governor's order and require quarantining, much like the did when they required all students to wear masks in class.

"Every superintendent and every school board in this state — they were duly elected and their job is to protect not only the students, but certainly the staff," she said. "And if they feel that the only way to do that is to violate his order, then what has happened in the past will continue to happen."

Gauronskas said parents should take medical advice and follow the science — and quarantine their child if needed — to protect the health of others.

"Our constitution demands — it states clearly — that we must a safe, high-quality public education," she said. "And I'm not sure where safe comes into play in this decision."

She said 81 school employees and 16 students in Florida have died from complications of COVID-19 since July, when the pandemic had a resurgence across the state.

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