By Angie Dimichele| SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL | JUL 13, 2020
In a step back, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that parents should have the right to keep their children home from school buildings in the fall, particularly in areas like South Florida that have been pummeled by COVID-19.
DeSantis and President Donald Trump both have said that schools should reopen five days a week and children should be there. But DeSantis said Monday that he understands some parents might disagree.
During a news conference in Miami, he stressed that every parent should have the option of sending their children back to school, even if they decide not to.
The return to school has grown into one of the hottest debates nationally as people like Trump insist that children should no longer learn at home and that schools can contain the coronavirus.
Many South Florida parents reacted in panic when state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said last month, “We want schools fully open” with students in classrooms. Those parents have argued that children are not safe at school as COVID-19 spreads across the landscape.
Other parents say that their kids need face-to-face instruction and a social life and that adults will find it difficult to work if their children remain at home.
DeSantis emphasized, as he has before, that children are at low risk for COVID-19. But he said he advised Corcoran to work with school districts collaboratively and recognized that South Florida’s response may differ from other Florida school districts.
“I’m not going to dictate how everything goes,” DeSantis said. “You’re going to have a lot of school districts around this state that are going to open up, and that’ll be it.”