Image via Octavio Jones/Getty Images DeSantis speaks before the conservative activist group Moms for Liberty, a close ally that donated to 51 school board candidates across the state. Of those, 28 won.
Image via Octavio Jones/Getty Images

Educational leaders who enforced mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic are among the casualties.  

After Gov. Ron DeSantis put his considerable clout behind conservative school board candidates across the state during the midterm elections, newly elected members have begun giving the boot to some educational leaders who enforced COVID-19 mandates during the pandemic.

And although not all firings are tied to the election, in November school boards with ties to DeSantis ousted three superintendents who served in districts that implemented student mask mandates.

Rep. Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay), who earlier this year supported punishing schools with mask mandates, announced that “now the people who did that are gone.”

RELATED: DeSantis Pushes for Conservative School Board Candidates Who Align With his Political Agenda

During the 2022 election cycle, DeSantis —who is thought to be the first Florida governor to endorse candidates for these nonpartisan posts — endorsed more than two dozen school board candidates, which came with $1,000 cash contributions from DeSantis and other Republican lawmakers. 

This Will Affect What Children Learn

What this comes down to, is that the newly elected school board members endorsed by the Republican governor will assist in implementing education policies that will greatly impact what children learn in the classroom. 

Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, who has researched cultural issues in education, and is a history professor at The New School, in New York, told NBC News that she believes the presence of DeSantis-backed candidates “likely means that communities will see more energy behind the initiatives he has made central to his campaign — curbing progressive curricula that center race, gender and sexuality.” 

RELATED: President of Major Teachers’ Union Condemns DeSantis Control Over Florida Classrooms

Other educational leaders are in agreement with Petrzela, and think DeSantis and Republican lawmakers are waging needless culture wars to appeal to their conservative base.

When it comes to sexuality and gender issues, for example, “no teacher has ever taught any kind of sexual orientation content in kindergarten or third grade,” Karla Hernández-Mats, who was Charlie Crist’s running mate against DeSantis, told Floricua. “So, if there was a problem, it would be a Republican problem, because they are the ones that have been in power over the Department of Education.”

A New School Discipline Policy

Days after the Brevard County School Board ousted the superintendent, School Board Chairman Matt Susin went on camera to announce plans to impose the “most prolific school discipline policy this district has ever had,” although Susin did not say what this policy would include.