Florida appeals court rules in favor of DeSantis, allowing his ban on mask mandates in schools to stand

Lawyers for Gov. Ron DeSantis filed the emergency appeal after a judge ruled on Wednesday that the state must stop its enforcement of a mask ban.

The latest court ruling comes amid a showdown between the state and some local school districts that have insisted on requiring students to wear masks as Covid-19 infections surge.

On August 27, Second Circuit Judge John Cooper ruled against DeSantis, allowing Florida schools to institute mask mandates while the case was appealed at a higher level.

Cooper ruled that DeSantis had overreached when he issued an executive order in late July directing the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Department of Health to issue emergency rules giving parents a choice on whether their children should wear masks in class.

The state threatened to withhold funding from districts that violated the order and required masks, but 13 Florida school districts have implemented mask mandates without a parental opt-out in defiance of the governor.

DeSantis tweeted Friday he was not surprised by Friday’s ruling.

“The 1st DCA has restored the right of parents to make the best decisions for their children. I will continue to fight for parents’ rights,” he added.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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