Florida's ban on mask mandates for public schools can be likened to Katy Perrys hit song, Hot N Cold.
Friday's stay was issued by the First District Court of Appeals of the state. It reinstates Governor. Ron DeSantis ban against school mask mandates also carries financial penalties for school board members who support the mask mandates. This week, Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper had ruled that the state could not enforce a ban against mask mandates to prevent covid-19. The appeals court overturned his previous ruling.
It's no surprise that the 1st DCA restored parents' rights to make the best decisions about their children, DeSantis tweeted Friday. I will continue fighting for parents rights.
Parents who were against the state's mandates prompted the lawsuit that challenges DeSantis' ban. According to the Associated Press 13 school boards have adopted mask directives for their respective districts. More than half of Florida's 2.8 million students are affected by the mask mandates.
Florida schools that have mask requirements allow students to skip wearing them for medical reasons. However, they cannot do so due to parental consent. DeSantis maintained that parents can decide whether or not their children must wear masks to school under the state's Parents Bill of Rights law. This law establishes rights for parents in education, health and upbringing.
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Cooper, the Leon County C Circuit judge, stated that the evidence presented to DeSantis ban by parents clearly showed that masks provide some protection for children in crowded schools. The judge said that masks are especially useful for children younger than 12 years of age, as no covid-19 vaccine has been approved yet.
Friday's warning by the Food and Drug Administration to parents not to vaccinate children younger than 12 years was a call for serious consequences. They also urged them wait for results from clinical trials.
Cooper stated that the Parents Bill of Rights allows parents to make education and health decisions for their children, unless the government, such as a school district, can prove that the action is justified and necessary to remedy the situation. Cooper stated that the state was only enforcing part of the law as reported by the AP.
Cooper said that you must prove you have the authority to do what you are doing. It is possible to enforce a portion of the law, but not all.
The appeals court ruled that Cooper shouldn't have lifted the suspension, which would have prevented the ban from taking effect. This was because the state wanted to continue judicial review.
The judges of the First District Court of Appeal expressed serious doubts regarding standing, jurisdiction and other threshold issues. The automatic stay should not have been lifted due to the presumption that it cannot be vacated.
Schools with mandates for masks seem to be unwilling to take part in the judicial rollercoaster. Many of them have decided to keep their mandates until the matter is resolved in the courts.
Vickie Cartwright was the interim superintendent of Broward County Public Schools. She stated in a press conference, that the district would continue to execute its mask mandate.
CNN reported that Cartwright stated that we are in the middle a pandemic. According to Cartwright, it is in our best interests to do what is in the students' best interest. We await the District Court of Appeals's next ruling.
The parents' lawyer confirmed that they had appealed to the Florida Supreme Court.