The Florida Governor will have his education dept. appeal the ruling in attempt to have politics overrule common sense….
A Florida court on Friday rejected an effort by Gov. Ron DeSantis and other state officials to prevent mask mandates in schools during the state’s worst Covid-19 outbreak yet.
Judge John C. Cooper of the state’s Second Judicial Circuit said that Florida’s school districts may impose strict mask mandates on students to curb the spread of the coronavirus, handing a defeat to Governor DeSantis, whose administration has vehemently insisted on leaving masking decisions to children’s parents.
In a lengthy ruling from the bench, Judge Cooper sided with parents of students in various school districts who had argued that Florida’s Constitution requires keeping schoolchildren safe and secure, and masks would help accomplish that in a pandemic. Florida had previously indicated that it would appeal any adverse ruling to a more conservative appellate court.
Lawyers for Mr. DeSantis, a Republican, and the Florida Department of Education had countered that a “parents’ bill of rights” enacted by state lawmakers earlier this year gave parents the right to decide if their child should wear a mask. Judge Cooper disagreed, saying the new law “doesn’t ban mask mandates” and in fact gives school districts the discretion to impose them.
“I’m a parent — parents’ rights are very important,” Judge Cooper said. “But they’re not without some reasonable limitation, depending upon safety, reasonableness and a compelling state need.”
In a statement, the Department of Education said it would appeal….