News and Commentary

DeSantis Scores Legal Win In Fight To Ban School Mask Mandates 

   DailyWire.com
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis delivers remarks during a roundtable discussion in Orlando, Florida, on August 26, 2020.
Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) on Friday scored a legal win in his fight to ban mask mandates for children in schools across the state, instead allowing parents to decide what’s best for their kids.

After the DeSantis administration filed an emergency motion asking an appeals court to reinstate a stay on his order to ban the mandates, the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee granted the stay Friday.

“1st District Court of Appeals just granted the State of Florida’s request to reinstate the stay — meaning, the rule requiring ALL Florida school districts to protect parents’ rights to make choices about masking kids is BACK in effect!” posted Christina Pushaw, a spokeswoman for Gov. DeSantis.

DeSantis filed an appeal last week to reverse a ruling from a Leon County circuit judge who struck down his ban on schools implementing mask mandates, The Daily Wire previously reported:

The appeal, filed at the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee, is aimed at overturning the decision of Judge John C. Cooper, a Leon County Circuit Judge. Cooper previously said that DeSantis had overstepped his state authority in his July executive order on masking in schools.

Looking at the legislation and orders in question, Cooper said that masking mandates do not need to “include a parent-opt out at all,” according to The Associated Press.

The ruling enabled Florida county school boards to put mask mandates in place if they choose. Yet, as the AP reports, DeSantis’s appeal now stays the ruling, meaning that it’s at least temporarily suspended.

Following Judge Cooper’s ruling, a spokesman for DeSantis released a statement saying the decision went against parents’ rights and ignored “science and facts.”

“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,” the statement said.

DeSantis correctly predicted that the appeal would ultimately prove successful. “It’ll be appealed. We’ll end up getting it back,” he told reporters last Monday. “At the end of the day, ultimately, we’re just trying to stand with the parents.”

“A large part of the debate revolves around Florida’s Parents Bill of Rights law,” The Daily Wire reported. “Cooper believes that the law doesn’t extend to the issue of masking, while DeSantis argues that it does. DeSantis said that a similar case could be made if schools had banned anyone from wearing a mask instead of mandating that everyone wear one.”

“I’ll bet you you’d have parents sue under the Parents’ Bill of Rights, say, ‘Hey, wait a minute, I think this is in the best interest of my child to go to school to wear — you know what, I think that they would win on that,” the Republican said according to Florida Politics.

Related: DeSantis Appeals Judge’s Decision Blocking His Ban on Mask Mandates

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