Leon County Schools board members react to state sanctions brought down over COVID rules

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 2:59 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 11, 2021 at 2:31 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Florida Board of Education decided to issue sanctions against the Leon County School district Thursday for violating the state’s COVID-19 emergency rules.

The result left school board members without pay until they follow the state rulings.

Leon County Schools has two days to comply with the state’s emergency rule about masking but most of the school board members say they’re willing to take the hit.

After giving their testimony at the state hearing, the Leon County School district was unanimously told they were in violation of the state’s emergency rule, bringing sanctions against them.

“Oh I’m definitely frustrated and I feel like it’s mean-spirited. We were elected to do a job and look at our conditions and that’s what we’ve been doing,” said LCS school board member Rosanne Wood.

Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran says districts can’t pick and choose what laws they follow but LCS Superintendent Rocky Hanna believes the control has never been in their hands.

“Let’s be clear, this entire show has been run by one person and that’s the governor. The governor appoints the surgeon general, the governor appoints the state board of education, the commissioner of education,” said LCS Superintendent Rocky Hanna. “I mean this is all in line with whom he is saying that it is either his way or the highway when it comes to masking and protecting our students.”

Hanna is calling the state’s actions bullying.

“We will continue to look at the science, continue to follow the data and then adjust as necessary,” shared Hanna. “But again to cut us off as a one size fits all, if you don’t do it the way we want then we’re coming after you. That’s just bullying at its best or it’s, however you want to look at it.”

Wood says she believes the school board is doing what’s right for the district and will continue to do so to keep students safe.

“I’m sorry that the board of education made this decision but it is what it is and I feel that we’ve done the right thing and I feel that parents feel for the most part the same way,” explained Wood.

Wood goes on to tell Brandon that she has supported superintendent Hanna’s leadership from the beginning and will continue to do so as long as they continue to do what’s right for their district.

Superintendent Hanna says if schools board members have to give up their salary then it is only right that he does as well but Commissioner Corcoran denied this request.

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