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Governor Ron DeSantis announces that in-person classes will remain an option for students

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 12:10 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WJXX) - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the choice for in-person schooling for the upcoming school year will remain an option amid the coronavirus pandemic.

DeSantis started his address by saying that not only was he the governor of Florida but a husband, father, son and friend who has also been dealing with the pandemic.

As the amount of positive COVID-19 cases has increased in the state many people have experienced fear and anxiety, DeSantis said.

"There is fear of the virus of course but also apprehension about what it means for families, jobs and education as we approach the school year,' he said. "The choice before us is whether we face our challenges with determination and resolve guided by evidence or whether we allow ourselves to become paralyzed by fear."

DeSantis said that while Florida did better than most with handling virtual schooling, students still suffered a loss. He said he wants "our parents have a meaningful choice when it comes to in-person education. I believe in empowering them with a choice. No parent should be required to send their child to in-person instruction if they don't want to." 

While DeSantis said the option should remain for parents to choose to have in-person schooling, there should also be other options for those who do not feel comfortable with that idea.

The governor said if some schools need to delay the start of school so that they can safely reopen then that should be done. He also said that if some teachers do not feel comfortable returning to schools to teach amid the pandemic then they should have the option to continue working virtually.

"For those teachers who may be higher risk or even those who just don't feel comfortable with in-person instruction they should be given the option of working remotely," DeSantis said. "Why force someone to be in the classroom if they're uncomfortable doing so? Let's just find a way to make do."

DeSantis concluded his address to Floridians with a message to students.

“To our students: You are the future of Florida. Every generation has made sacrifices so that the next generation has the ability to thrive,” he said. “We can not be the generation that deprives you to live up to your God-given potential. We can best fight the virus by having a healthy functioning society and that especially includes our schools. Let’s not let fear get the best of us and harm our children in the process. We must stay strong for we will succeed. Thank You and God Bless You.”

You can watch the governor’s briefing from Wednesday right here.

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