“A state appeals court ruled on Friday in favor of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, issuing a stay in a case that effectively reinstates his ban on mask mandates in the state’s public schools to the dismay of many parents and teachers.
Florida’s First District Court of Appeals reinstated a stay that was lifted by Circuit Judge John Cooper, who earlier ruled that the state does not have the authority to ban mandates in a case brought by a group of parents.
“No surprise here – the 1st DCA has restored the right of parents to make the best decisions for their children,” DeSantis wrote in a Tweet. “I will continue to fight for parents’ rights.”
These governors have said that such rules infringe on personal liberty. Proponents of mask mandates have said the rules are necessary to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, as cases rise particularly in areas with lower vaccination rates, driven by the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus. In addition, children under 12 are not yet approved for vaccination.
DeSantis in July issued an executive order barring school mask mandates for students. DeSantis has said parents should decide whether their children wear masks.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the fourth largest district in the United States, is among more than a dozen school districts that had imposed mask requirements in defiance of the governor’s order. This week, the state Department of Education withheld funding from two of those districts.
On Aug. 27, Judge Cooper ruled in favor of a group of parents who brought a lawsuit opposing the mask mandate and vacated the automatic stay in the case.
In its decision, the appeals court said it had “serious doubts” about the standing, jurisdiction and other legal matters in the case.
Charles Gallagher, the lead attorney for the parents, wrote on Twitter that they will be seeking a ruling from the state Supreme Court.
“With a stay in place, students, parents and teachers are back in harm’s way,” he said.”
Reuters claims that many parents are dismayed by the court’s decision but my guess is the number of parents who are relieved far exceeds the number that are upset.
Ron DeSantis is hands down the best governor in the country and hope the majority of the people in the great State of Florida see it the same way.