Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. to Unvaccinated, Fired New York Teachers: Come to Florida

By Lydia Nusbaum, Florida's Voice

September 19, 2022 Updated 3:54 PM ET

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TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – New York City reportedly fired 850 educators because they were not vaccinated, prompting Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. to invite them to teach in Florida Monday.

The New York Post reports that the city Department of Education fired 850 teachers and classroom aides in New York City. The recent cut brought the total number of those fired because did not follow a vaccine mandate to nearly 2,000 school employees.

“Come on down to the free state of Florida!” Diaz said. “We are proud to offer reciprocity to New York teachers.”

Diaz linked to Florida’s two reciprocity routes for certified teachers and administrators to qualify for the state’s Professional Certificate.

There were 1,300 educators who took a year of unpaid leave with benefits with the commitment to show COVID vaccination proof by Sept. 5 or be “deemed to have voluntarily resigned,” the Post reports. There were 450 staffers out of the 1,300 who received their shot by that deadline.

“You shouldn’t have to choose between getting the jab or losing your job. In Florida, you don’t,” Gov. Rom DeSantis Press Secretary Bryan Griffin said on Twitter.

Griffin’s comments reflect those of DeSantis who has stood firmly against vaccine mandates.

President Joe Biden said in a 60 Minutes interview that the “pandemic is over.” In response Monday, DeSantis questioned whether the administration would allow unvaccinated military members return to service.

“Biden declared the pandemic is over,” DeSantis said. “So, when will he let those discharged from the military due to vax mandates return to protecting our country?”

DeSantis signed legislation to ban vaccine passports in 2021. The administration also fought for Special Olympics International to drop its vaccine mandate for athletes competing in Orlando in June. 

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