Florida Parents Suing DeSantis Say Masks Fall Under School Board
(Bloomberg) -- Florida parents who sued Governor Ron DeSantis for banning mask mandates in schools told a judge that face coverings are akin to uniforms and fall under the control of local school boards, not the state.
DeSantis’s executive order allowing parents to opt out of mask rules for any reason has made school boards “powerless” to enact policies to keep students safe during the pandemic, even as Florida has become a hot spot for the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus, the group said in a filing Tuesday responding to the governor’s motion to dismiss the case.
The executive order “renders schools unsafe,” the parents said in the filing. “No child has died from the onerous obligation to wear a mask while indoors at school; however, children have died from contracting Covid-19.”
DeSantis, a Republican seen as a possible successor to former president Donald Trump, says parents should have the final say on whether their kids wear masks at school. The parents suing DeSantis say he is pressing his ban on mask rules even as the virus is spreading in Florida far faster than a year ago, when students were required to wear masks.
Judge John C. Cooper of Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit will hear oral arguments on Aug. 19 and rule the same day on the state’s motion. If the case survives, he’ll weigh a statewide injunction against DeSantis’s ban.
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