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Florida Appeals Court Rules in Favor of DeSantis on Ban of Mandatory Masks in Schools

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis scored a legal victory on Friday, September 10 in his efforts to uphold the ban on mandatory masks in Florida schools.

According to disclosed court documents, Florida’s First District Court of Appeal sided with Governor DeSantis and put on hold a court ruling that the Republican had overreached in his Executive Order to prevent schools from imposing mandatory masks for students.

“A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal reinstated a stay of the ruling by Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper, clearing the way for the state to try to block school districts from requiring students to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic,” reported the SunSentinel.

The state court reported that it will issue a full written explanation later, but warned that they see “serious doubts” in the parents’ lawsuit.

“Upon our review of the trial court’s final judgment and the operative pleadings, we have serious doubts about standing, jurisdiction and other threshold matters,” the order said. “These doubts significantly militate against the likelihood of the appellees’ (parents’) ultimate success in this appeal.”

Students attend classes during the first day of school at Barbara Goleman Senior High School in Miami Lakes, Florida, U.S., Aug. 23, 2021. (Image: EFE)

This order “was issued by Judges Stephanie Ray, Harvey Jay and Adam Tanenbaum. Ray and Jay were appointed to the Tallahassee-based appeals court by former Governor Rick Scott, while Tanenbaum was appointed by DeSantis.”

This ruling means that the state of Florida can enforce the ban on mask mandates while the appeals process runs its course.

DeSantis celebrated the decision on his Twitter account, pledging to continue fighting for parents’ rights.

The ban on mask mandates has been a major legal battle in Florida. As many as 13 school districts objected to the order issued by DeSantis and the Department of Health’s order claiming that children could only remove masks in schools if their parents provided reasonable medical evidence to do so. The Republican governor did not stand idly by in the face of the Districts’ contempt and imposed economic sanctions that caused a fervent debate in the Floridian state.

With the ruling in his favor, the governor would be fulfilling his promise to prevent Districts from imposing mandatory mask mandates in schools.

“We expect this coming year to be a normal, in-person school year and for kids to be able to live and learn like normal kids,” DeSantis said in June. “There has been talk about possible people advocating at the federal level to impose mandatory facemasks on children. We’re not going to do that in Florida. We need our kids to be able to be kids, we need them to be able to breathe, it’s terribly uncomfortable for them to do that [wearing a mask]. There’s not a lot of science behind it.”

Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.

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