Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) has started to withhold the salaries of school officials who refuse to follow his executive order banning them from mandating mask rules in their school districts.

Florida’s Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced the decision on Tuesday, emphasizing that the state will withhold the salaries of the school authorities in Alachua and Broward counties who started to enforce mask mandate despite the state’s order.

“We’re going to fight to protect parent’s rights to make health care decisions for their children. They know what is best for their children. What’s unacceptable is the politicians who have raised their right hands and pledged, under oath, to uphold the Constitution but are not doing so. Simply said, elected officials cannot pick and choose what laws they want to follow,” he said.

The decision came after the Florida judge’s decision on Friday to allow schools to keep their mask mandates for students despite the governor’s executive order.

“It’ll be appealed. We’ll end up getting it back,” DeSantis said in a press briefing Monday, vowing to keep his executive order in place. “I think we’re gonna have really good grounds to appeal.”

DeSantis also insisted that despite the surging Delta variant in the state, the virus still “remains a low risk for students.”

“We just want parents to be able to have their kids be in the best situation to learn and to grow,” DeSantis said. “We just want kids to be able to learn in the best environment. And obviously, we want parents to have a say in that.”

Amid the growing Delta variant, the CDC amended its guidelines recently to recommend that all students and teachers wear masks in the classroom.

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