Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has appealed a judge’s ruling that stated the governor overreached and did not have the authority to ban school districts from implementing mask mandates without a parent opt-out.
The appeal says that “the filing in this Notice triggers an automatic stay pending review,” but attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case — parents from Miami-Dade, Orange, Hillsborough, Palm Beach, Pinellas and Alachua counties — have filed an emergency notice to vacate the stay.
Thirteen Florida school districts have now implemented a mask mandate, without a parent opt out, defying an earlier executive order by the governor.
The state’s appeal comes about a week after Leon County 2nd Judicial Circuit Court Judge John Cooper ruled DeSantis “did not have the authority for a blanket mandatory ban against face mask policy, that does not provide a parental opt-out.”
DeSantis’ executive order, issued in late July, had directed the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Department of Health to issue emergency rules giving parents a choice on whether their children should wear masks in class.
In his ruling last week, Cooper cited the evidence presented in a four-day hearing, including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation for universal masking of students and teachers.
“I have heard significant evidence concerning the medical and scientific basis for face mask policies and I conclude this evidence demonstrates that face mask policies that follow CDC guidance at this point in time are reasonable,” Cooper said.
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