Florida college students who attend parties despite their school’s COVID-19 policies may get a little help from Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
DeSantis said Thursday that he was seeking a “bill of rights” that would protect college students from expulsion if they partied amid the coronavirus pandemic, the New York Post reported.
“I understand that universities are trying to do the right thing, but I personally think it’s dramatically draconian that a student could get potentially expelled for going to a party. That’s what college kids do,” DeSantis said during a virtual public health roundtable.
He also called college and university policies that punish students for violating social gathering rules “draconian.”
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DeSantis didn’t provide more details about his proposed “bill of rights” or whether he would try to pass it as an executive order.
But he said that he believes that social distancing rules should focus on protecting the state’s most vulnerable residents, the elderly population.
“I just think that we’ve got to be reasonable about this and really focus the efforts on where the most significant risk is,” he said.
His remarks came after Florida State University announced last week that it would suspend students for going to large gatherings, news station WESH reported.
Last month, Florida State University arrested seven men for violating state open house party law, where they provided alcohol to underage people. Four attendees were also charged with underage drinking, WFLA reported. Two fraternities were suspended elsewhere in the state for a similar incident.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, students across the country face punishment for partying during the pandemic. Last month, The Ohio State University suspended 228 students for violating the school’s social distancing guidelines before classes even started.
“OSU sent a message informing them of the school’s coronavirus guidelines, such as wearing a mask, keeping at least six feet apart (social distancing), and limiting gatherings to 10 or fewer people. Students were also warned by Vice President of Student Life Melissa S. Shivers that the university was already opening investigations into student gatherings that would likely result in suspensions. Student organizations were warned they could lose recognition and funding if they held gatherings that violated the school’s coronavirus guidelines,” The Daily Wire reported.
And it’s not just partying during the pandemic that will get students in trouble. Earlier this month, a Long Island high school student attended class three days in a row to protest remote learning, only to be arrested for trespassing, The Daily Wire’s Tim Pearce reported.
“If Mr. Stow continues to try to access school grounds each day that we are open, we will close the high school — and its approximately 3,000 students — to all in-person learning and it will be all virtual for the foreseeable future,” William Floyd High School spokesman James Montalto said in a statement.
“We are still in the midst of a pandemic and will abide by the regulations set in place by our government and health officials designed to keep our students and staff safe. As we have said, Mr. Stow’s rights as a student do not surpass the rights of any of our other 8,799 students,” Montalto continued. “Most of our in-person classes at the high school are at maximum capacity according to the square footage of each classroom.”
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