Roundtable on Unmasking Kids in Schools

Dear Members,

Earlier this week, Governor Ron DeSantis hosted a roundtable discussion with doctors, experts, a school administrator, a concerned parent, and a high school student about efforts by the federal government to require children wear masks in school.

During the discussion the participants shared their insights and experiences about how mask mandates and school closures harm children. Over the past 18 months, Governor DeSantis has been very clear about the importance of keeping Florida open and free.

He has also advocated for parents and students by ensuring they have choices – giving them the ability to make decisions that are best for their families.

Governor DeSantis opened up the discussion with the following:

As many of you know, there’s been talk amongst the CDC, the Academy of Pediatrics to force masking on school children — I think the academy even says teachers and school children, regardless of even immune status, even if they’ve recovered from COVID or even if they have been vaccinated.

And so, we in Florida, at this point, our school districts have, proposed the mask optional. But I think our fear is that seeing some of those rumblings, that there be an attempt from the federal level or even some of these organizations to try to push for mandatory masking of school children. And so, our view is that this should absolutely not be imposed. It should not be mandated. And I know our legislature feels strongly about it, such that if, if you started to see a push from the feds or some of these local school districts, I know they’re interested in coming in, even in a special session to be able to provide protections for parents and kids who just want to breathe freely and don’t want to be suffering under these masks during the school year. ~~ Governor Ron DeSantis

Participants of the discussion included the following:

Jay Bhattacharya, a Professor of Medicine at Stanford University and research associate at the National Bureau of Economics Research (NEBR). He is also a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, with an M.D. and Ph.D. Jay’s research has been cited over 11,000 times according to Google Scholar.
Cody Meissner, MD, a renowned pediatrician and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease and Professor of Pediatrics at the Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Meissner is a national authority on the well-being of children, having served on the AAP’s Committee of Infectious Disease, and the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and HHS National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC).
Mark McDonald, MD, a successful practitioner of over 14 years based out of Los Angeles who is a clinical psychiatrist with specific expertise working with children with autism, trauma, obsessive-compulsive and bipolar disorders. Dr. McDonald works closely with families, schools, pediatricians and therapists to aid in his treatments.
David Withun, Head of School of Jacksonville Classical Academy. He is also a veteran of the United States Army, he holds an MA and Ph.D. in Humanities from Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala. Dr. Withun has taught History, Literature and Humanities and his writing has been published in several popular and academic outlets, including Classical Receptions Journal, Black Perspectives, Phylonand Forma Journal.
Anita Whitby Davis, a concerned parent and mother of two sons. Her sons attend the Governors Charter Academy in Tallahassee where she also works as a parent liaison at the school
Everett Thompson is a rising senior and lacrosse player at Maclay Highschool in Tallahassee and is very concerned about masks being required this year.
To watch the entire discussion or to read the transcript please click here.

Watch Roundtable Discussion:


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