Appeal Court Reinstates Mask Mandate Ban


In another step in the saga between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and local school districts, the 1st District Court of Appeal has given DeSantis a temporary victory by reinstating Florida’s mask mandate ban. The ban was initially signed by DeSantis through executive order in July.

The mask mandate ban has faced multiple steps in legal challenges by local school districts and parents seeking to have their school districts impose mask mandates for their students.

Most recently, a Florida judge struck down the mask mandate ban, giving an initial victory to the parents suing the state. However, attorneys representing the DeSantis administration issued an appeal through emergency order, and the attorneys said a parents’ right to make masking decisions for their child should not be infringed upon by a local school district.

DeSantis expressed his commitment to fight for parents’ rights while referencing the decision by the 1st District Court of Appeal.

“No surprise here – the 1st DCA has restored the right of parents to make the best decisions for their children,” DeSantis’ said. “I will continue to fight for parents’ rights.”

DeSantis’ communications director, Taryn Fenske, echoed similar sentiments.

“Just like last year in the school re-opening litigation, the First District Court of Appeal has reinstated Florida’s ability to protect the freedom for parents to make the best decisions for their children while they make their own ruling on the appeal,” said Fenske. “We look forward to winning the appeal and will continue to fight for parents’ rights.”

With the mask mandate ban reinstated, school boards and the members comprising the boards, who violate the order are at risk of having funds withheld from their district equivalent to their salaries.

The Alachua County school district is one of the rogue districts who have mandated masks in schools despite state law, and Alachua’s superintendent shared her disappointment.

“The decision is disappointing, but we understood from the beginning that the legal battle over masks in schools would take time and not every decision would be favorable,” said Carlee Simon, superintendent of Alachua school district.

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips. 



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