Florida Governor appeals court ruling allowing masks to be required in schools

Florida Governor appeals court ruling allowing masks to be required in schools

Florida faces more COVID-19 cases and a political fight to prevent them.

Photo: CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP / Getty Images

MIAMI – The Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis appealed the ruling of a judge who ruled “excess” in the exercise of his authority to order school boards to refrain from imposing the use of masks in schools, a preventive measure against contagion with Covid-19 that has shown efficacy.

The governor’s attorneys filed the motion Thursday in the Tallahassee First District Court of Appeals, with the goal of having this instance overturn the ruling issued last week by Magistrate John C. Cooper.

The judge overseeing the case, Cooper, ruled that the state’s executive order does not preclude school authorities from requiring the use of masks at all 67 Florida school boards, regardless of parental consent and agreed with the 27 families of students who filed the lawsuit against the order of Republican DeSantis.

The appeal automatically suspends the decision of the magistrate until this higher instance issues its ruling.

In the electronic court hearing of the ruling, Cooper had indicated that “at this time the mask mandates established by the schools were reasonable” and were in accordance with the guidance of the government Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

DeSantis opposes the strategy against covid-19 of the federal authorities and It has forbidden by law to force the use of masks in schools and to ask for vaccination certificates in businesses and institutions.

In the case of schools, their policy has been to delegate to parents the power to decide whether or not their children wear a mask and to threaten those who violate these rules with financial penalties.

But school boards in at least ten counties, including Broward and Miami-Dade, the latter the fourth-largest in the state, have challenged that order, and children and teachers have been wearing face masks since school resumed.

The Florida Department of Education announced Monday that it has withheld the monthly salaries of school board members from Alachua and Broward, two of the 10 counties that have made the use of masks mandatory following CDC guidelines.

“We will fight to protect the rights of parents to make health care decisions for their children. They know what is best for their children, ”Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said in a statement.

At a press conference by the governor earlier this week, he was confident that the appeals court will agree to the state that the parents of the students are the only ones with the power to decide on the use of masks in the schools. colleges.

Craig Whisenhunt, attorney for the parents who sued her, argued that Governor DeSantis’ order it violated the authority of school districts to decide on health matters.

The lawsuit notes that state regulations endanger children’s health by not allowing districts to follow COVID-19 guidelines issued by the CDC.

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