The federal judge in Miami, K. Michael Moore, denied a petition to overturn the rule that establishes in Florida that school authorities decide whether or not students must wear masks to school, leaving the decision up to the parents.
In yet another chapter of the judicial war over the use of facemasks in schools, Moore, without going into the merits of the case, said that the parents who sued the state should have exhausted administrative remedies before resorting to the courts.
The judge considered that had the plaintiffs pursued administrative remedies, they would have found “solutions tailored to the individual needs of each child”.
The plaintiff parents allege that the fact that their children can be in school with other children without masks poses a risk to their health, the same argument made in other lawsuits filed against the rule contained in the Florida Department of Health’s so-called Emergency Rule.
Several Floridian school districts decided to bypass the rule and require the use of facemasks regardless of what the students’ parents thought, to which the governor’s executive, Ron DeSantis, responded by requesting that they let parents decide for their children.
In Florida courts, several lawsuits by parents and civil organizations and counterclaims by Republican Gov. DeSantis, who last week received an endorsement for his cause from an appeals court that established that the order remains in effect while the justice system resolves, against a ruling that ordered it to be put on hold.
President Joe Biden’s administration has supported Florida counties that have rebelled against the order, including Miami-Dade, and, it was reported last week, the federal Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has opened an investigation into Florida’s rule giving parents the power to decide.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020, Governor DeSantis has promoted vaccination campaigns and the use of masks, but always leaving it up to the citizens to decide how to take care of themselves, in that sense he has stated that the Government should not penalize people for making individual decisions.