Judge Rules DeSantis’ Mask Mandate Ban Unlawful

On Friday, a judge ruled that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ ban on school mask mandates was unlawful, and school districts in the state can require students to wear masks.

Judge John Cooper’s decision came after a five-day hearing, and as at least 10 Florida school boards voted to defy DeSantis and impose mask requirements with no parental opt-out.

Parents sued the governor over the order banning school districts from requiring masks. Lawyers for the parents claimed the action was unconstitutional, takes power from local school boards, and that it is just unsafe.

“The actions of the defendants [DeSantis] do not pass constitutional muster,” Cooper said. “They seek to deprive the school boards in advance.”

The governor’s side said the order protects parent choice and that there’s no good data showing that masks are effective.

DeSantis’ office slammed the decision, writing:

“It’s not surprising that Judge Cooper would rule against parent’s rights and their ability to make the best educational and medical decisions for their family, but instead rule in favor of elected politicians. This ruling was made with incoherent justifications, not based in science and facts – frankly not even remotely focused on the merits of the case presented.”

“We will continue to defend the law and parent’s rights in Florida, and will immediately appeal the ruling to the First District Court of Appeals, where we are confident we will prevail on the merits of the case.”

Classroom Teachers Association President Wendy Doromal said she had a feeling the judge was going to rule this way.

“Children are the real winners and teachers and employees are the winners and the families that they go home to,” she said. “And ultimately the community because these kids do go out into the community.”

Allison Scott, a mother and one of the plaintiffs in the case, felt the judge made the right choice.

“The Judge affirmed that the Parent Bill of Rights gives the school districts the authority to make those decisions in the need for safety,” she said. “And why that is important is that, you know, it may vary from school district to school district, depending on the situation on the ground.”

COVID deaths have hit a record in the state for the second week in a row.

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