The Broward County School District voted to remove their mask mandate for high schools and will go into effect on Monday, November 1. The mandate will be maintained in elementary and middle schools, but high school students will still be encouraged to wear masks.
“I’m proud of the School Board of Broward County for standing firm on keeping mask mandates in place for Broward County Public Schools’ elementary and middle school students, and strongly encouraging high school students to wear masks,” said Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco.
Florida Department of Administrative Hearings Judge Brian Newman cleared a path, refusing to dismiss a challenge by six Florida school districts, challenging the Florida Department of Health’s rule against mask mandates.
The counties included in the challenge are: Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, Duval, Alachua, and Leon Counties.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is “lying” about mask mandates in Florida’s schools and claims masks have been effective in stopping the spread of COVID.
“Ron DeSantis is lying to you about masks in schools … In every single case, kids were better off in school districts that required masks than school districts that did not,” Fried said.
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.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has filed an appeal to reinstate a stay on Florida’s mask mandate ban. The filing was an emergency order after Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper lifted a stay after the state’s appeal, permitting school districts to impose mask mandates.
Cooper was the judge who struck down DeSantis’ mask mandate ban last month, siding with parents who have sued to have their districts be permitted to impose a mandate.
As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is appealing a ruling over the state’s mask mandate ban, three school districts are directly challenging the state’s rule by filing a challenge in the Florida Department of Administrative Hearings (DOAH).
Attorneys for the Alachua, Broward, and Orange counties filed the challenge targeting the Florida Department of Health’s (DOH) rule to block mask mandate bans. The ban keeps school districts from imposing a mask mandate so long as there is a parent permission opt-out.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced his administration has appealed a legal ruling striking down his July executive order banning mask mandates. DeSantis initially signed the order to prevent school districts from imposing district-wide mask mandates on students.
DeSantis has previously cited the recently signed “Parental Bill of Rights” legislation ensuring parents have the right to make healthcare decisions for their children, including wearing or not wearing masks.
Florida’s Attorney General, Ashley Moody (R), has entered into the fight against rogue school districts defying state law. She voiced her opinion after a court decision earlier this week saying Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ mask mandate ban was unconstitutional and unenforceable.
DeSantis said they will be quickly filing an appeal to the decision in another attempt to “defend the law and parents’ rights in Florida.”
The U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) announced they are investigating state laws across the country pertaining to mask mandate bans. The states subject to investigation are Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah. Notably, Florida was not included in the list regarding the initial investigation.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order banning mask mandates on July 30 kicking off a month of threats, legal action, and defiant school boards.
In an announcement made by the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) on Monday, the Department said it will officially withhold monthly salaries of school boards in Alachua and Broward counties for issuing mask mandates for their students in violation of state law.
In July, Governor DeSantis signed an executive order banning school boards and districts from placing mask mandates in Florida schools, referencing the Parents’ Bill of Rights that DeSantis established in the 2021 legislative session.