TAMPA, Florida – A Leon County judge on Thursday dismissed a state petition asking the court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by relatives, including several in Tampa Bay, claiming Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order banning mask warrants school is unconstitutional.
The judge determined that the parents have the legal capacity to sue the governor; they are now seeking an injunction that would allow districts to institute COVID-19 security measures, including requiring face coverings, without the risk of state sanction.
A day earlier, Hillsborough County schools became the last district to adopt a mask mandate, requiring them for all students to be staffed for the next 30 days with the possibility of medical withdrawal.
“I hope the governor will listen to these questions [discussed by the school board] and know that we are not political at all as a board of directors. We are really trying to push back on anything to reduce the safety and well-being of our children, âBoard Chair Lynn Gray said after the meeting.
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Four of Florida’s five largest school districts – Hillsborough, Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach – have now violated the governor’s order by adopting mask warrants, along with Alachua.
Children wear masks when they return to school in Hillsborough County in August 2021.
Governor DeSantis retaliated Wednesday afternoon.
âThere are parents who send their kids to school in a way that they thought was the healthiest for their kids, especially those little kids – kindergarten, first graders,â DeSantis said. “And they basically took that away from the parents. And so my point is that parents understand what’s best for their children.”
The Florida Board of Education this week heard cases from the Alachua and Broward County school districts and determined that they had violated the governor’s order. It is unclear what sanction districts might face, although members of the state’s Board of Education have indicated that they may consider removing district heads from office.
The governor, meanwhile, now faces a pushback from Washington DC President Biden has ordered the Education Secretary to take all necessary steps, including potential legal action, to fight the governors. that are believed to prevent local school boards from adopting COVID-19 safety measures.
âAs everyone is on fire and parts of our country are on fire, you have this obsession that a 5-year-old shouldn’t be able to go to school without wearing this mask eight hours a day,â continued the governor. . “As a parent, I am offended that the federal government thinks it knows better than we as parents.”
The lawsuit concerning the governor’s order will be tried from Monday morning.