In one of the most bizarre developments in the heated political wars over COVID-19, Republicans in the Florida Senate defeated a measure that would have prevented schools from banning. Vaccinate teachers.
The measure was introduced by Democratic state Senator Jason Piezo earlier this week to protect teachers and other workers from being banned or fired by employers because they have been vaccinated against the deadly pandemic. He was urged to act after a private school in Miami notified teachers who had been vaccinated that their jobs were in danger.
Pizzo’s proposal was an amendment to a bill passed by the Florida state legislature on Thursday that would prohibit businesses, schools and government agencies in the state from requiring anyone to provide evidence of COVID-19 vaccination.
In other words, in Florida, vaccinated workers can be banned from their jobs, while the unvaccinated cannot be prevented. “In Florida, you can be fired to protect your health,” struggling Piso said after the vote.
Piso introduced his procedure after the news that Centner Academy Elementary School in Miami had decreed that vaccinated teachers or staff members were barred from contacting students. The school’s founder, Leila Sentner, has warned the vaccinated employees of the risk of losing their jobs. Centner and her husband have made significant contributions to the Republican Party.
According to a student, a science teacher at Centner Academy told a class that they shouldn’t hug their parents who had been vaccinated for more than 5 seconds because it was too dangerous, CBS 3 Miami reported. (Watch the video above.)
In an email to employees and Letter to parents Earlier this month, Centner claimed without any evidence that vaccines caused unspecified problems with a woman’s reproductive system and fertility, including changes in menstrual cycles. It did not cite a single study, as there was no such study. Centner admitted her views are “new and not yet researched”.
Piezo called the Centier concepts “sorcery.” “It’s just strange it will be fine,” Piezo told HuffPost in a statement. He described Centner’s policy as “extremely dangerous, and in conflict with well-accepted science”.
Piso said he submitted his amendment after the Florida Department of Health and Education Department told him there was nothing they could do about Centner’s policy – although health experts have warned that it puts workers, students and communities at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.
One supporter of the measure, Democratic Senator Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg, pleaded with his colleagues before the vote: “Let’s show that the Senate is not crazy, that we are rational people and that we will not allow companies to stop someone from working there to do exactly what we told them they should do.”
A peso procedure could have prevented any company, government entity, or educational institution from moving to “deny, restrict, obstruct, interfere, prevent or deny” entry or use of a person or their services because they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
It failed to win the majority needed in the 19-19 Senate vote Thursday, although some crossed the aisle to support him in the Republican-controlled room.
GOP Gov. Meanwhile, Ron DeSantes took credit for the new legislation banning proof of vaccination in the state and said he would quickly sign the measure into law.
“The irony is that this bill grants rights to people who haven’t been vaccinated, but it doesn’t protect me,” Democratic Representative Michael Greco told the Miami Herald. “It is time to start thinking … about science and, to a lesser degree, politics.”
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