Court Rules for Florida Gov. DeSantis, Reinstates Ban on School Mask Mandates


A Florida appeals court ruled on Friday in favor of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, issuing a stay in a case that effectively reinstates his ban on mask mandates in the state’s public schools.

School and health officials have battled with governors and other officials in what has become a politicized tussle over COVID-19 precautions.

A Republican, DeSantis in July issued an executive order barring school mask mandates. DeSantis has said parents should decide if their children wear masks.

Miami-Dade is among more than a dozen school districts that imposed mask requirements in defiance of the governor’s order.

This week, the state Department of Education withheld funding from two of those districts. On Aug. 27 Florida’s 2nd Circuit Judge John Cooper ruled that the state does not have the authority to ban mandates.

Friday’s ruling was by the First District Court of Appeals.

Charles Gallagher, the lead attorney for a group of parents suing the state, wrote on Twitter: “We are disappointed by the ruling of the 1st DCA that reinstates the stay and will be seeking pass through jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Florida since this matter involves statewide issues. With a stay in place, students, parents and teachers are back in harm’s way.”