Florida State University has claimed that an attempt to mandate students from one department in the College of Music to take the COVID vaccine was on accident, after State Representative Anthony Sabatini slammed them in an open letter.
Last month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a tough anti-vaccine passport bill into law. The legislation, along with banning any business or government entity from requiring proof of being vaccinated for COVID-19, also stops any educational institution, including schools and universities, from providing any documentation certifying their COVID-19 vaccination status for either attendance or enrollment. DeSantis had also previously instituted an executive order banning government entities from creating such a passport, and ensuring any business that did not comply would not be eligible for government grants.
However, the legislation, which will come into effect on July 1st, had seemingly been violated by Florida State University. In an open letter to DeSantis and FSU President John Thrasher, Florida State Representative and congressional candidate Anthony Sabatini alleged that the Music Therapy Department within FSU’s College of Music were forcing students to show proof of vaccination before the start of the Fall Semester in violation of the new law. “This requirement is unconscionable and illegal,” wrote Sabatini, adding that the mandate “goes against the letter and spirit of [the executive order and [the legislation].”
Today I wrote a letter to @GovRonDeSantis and also to the President of @floridastate concerning the College of Music at FSU—which is trying to require vaccination of students. This is illegal and must cease immediately. Our student’s medical freedom and privacy must be protected. pic.twitter.com/t6FBh71SoO
— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) June 21, 2021
“This mandate at Florida State University must be eliminated immediately to avoid violating Florida law and to protect the privacy of our student,” Sabatini continued. “The medical freedom and privacy of Florida’s students must be protected. I ask that you please put an end to this illegal mandate,” he concluded. “Leftist universities and colleges have no respect for the medical freedom or privacy of their students,” said Sabatini, speaking exclusively to National File. “It’s time to put them in their place,” he added.
In the letter, Sabatini further noted that the new legislation imposes up to a $5,000 fine for each violation to be enforced by the Department of Health, meaning Florida State could be subject to serious financial penalties if they required some of their students to show proof of their vaccine status. However, in a statement to National File, FSU College of Music Dean Todd Queen said that the email demanding students proved vaccination was sent in error.
In the email, Queen claimed “a Florida State University instructor sent an email erroneously stating the course required a COVID-19 vaccination” and that the email contained “information [that] was incorrect.” Queen elaborated that “Neither FSU nor the hospital requires COVID-19 vaccination for students,” and “The students enrolled in the course have been notified of the error.” Doubling down, Queen added, “FSU and the music therapy program respect all students’ rights to privacy and regret the error.”
National File reported on Wednesday that Arizona had joined Florida in restricting the use of vaccine passports in their state, stopping any authorities from mandating businesses to enforce vaccine passports, and banning schools from requiring it for attendance or enrollment. However, unlike Florida’s legislation, the proposed bill does not stop businesses or other private entities from requiring proof of vaccination of their volition. State Senator Wendy Rogers told National File that she would be pushing for legislation to “prohibit businesses from being able to ask customers for a vaccine passport.”