A Florida appeals court ruled Friday to restore the state’s ban on student masks, at least until it issues a final ruling on the legality of the ban. The order pauses a trial judge’s order against Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
On August 17, Second Judicial Circuit Court of Florida Judge John Cooper delivered a scathing ruling from the bench blocking the governor’s Executive Order banning the state’s largest school districts from enforcing a mask mandate. He said he found the measure “does not meet constitution muster,” violated the state’s Parents’ Bill of Rights and cut against the “overwhelming” medical consensus on COVID-19.
At the time, Governor Desantis promised a quick appeal, and his spokeswoman predicted the judge’s decision would be overturned by a conservative First District.
Friday’s order overrides Cooper, giving the Florid Board of Education the green light to continue withholding the salaries of school board members in districts that require face coverings for students. The state has imposed that punishment on two districts and has announced investigations into several others.
DeSantis communications director, Taryn Fenske said, “Just like last year in the school re-opening litigation, the First District Court of Appeal has reinstated Florida’s ability to protect the freedom for parents to make the best decisions for their children while they make their own ruling on the appeal.” We look forward to winning the appeal and will continue to fight for parents’ rights.”
Gov. DeSantis tweeted, “No surprise here – the 1st DCA has restored the right of parents to make the best decisions for their children. I will continue to fight for parents’ rights.”