By Chris Nelson. April 6, 2021. The Pasco County School Board released a statement admitting their mask mandate hinges on Governor DeSantis renewing the State of Emergency in Florida. "The authority of Pasco Schools to require masks is dependent on whether or not Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order is extended beyond the expiration date of April 26. If the Executive Order is not extended, the district will have no choice but to make masks optional," the statement posted to Facebook reads (Screenshot attached). The statement was released after journalist Jonathan Riches posted from today's school board meeting, "Pasco
County School Board heard our voices & are now shifting to voluntary Masks, not Mandatory.
This is what community activism looks like." (https://m.facebook.com/story.p…467987&id=100024054281449) Riches post was due to Superintendent Kurt Browning, former Florida Secretary of State, saying he has "heard the outcries and that his intention is to lift the mask mandate at the end of April when Governor DeSantis lifts the State of Emergency." For nearly one year freedom activists have pushed Governor Ron DeSantis to end the State of Emergency in Florida, an order he faithfully resigns every 60 days. They have said this order is what grants local governments and school boards authority to continue mask mandates and other restrictions. This is the first time a local government or school district has publically confirmed their mask mandate hinges on the Governor's Executive Order 20-52 which declared a State of Emergency due to a public health crisis. The statement continues, "On Monday, April 5, Pasco County rescinded the countywide mask mandate. That had no direct impact on any organizations not under the authority of Pasco County government. On Monday, Superintendent Browning made it clear that the county’s announcement had no impact on the school district, and that the school district’s mask requirement is still in place." According to Browning's later remarks this may change soon.