Appeals court reinstates DeSantis mask mandate ban for Florida schools

The First District Court of Appeals on Friday reinstated Florida’s ban on mask mandates for schools, granting Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisArizona attorney general asks for restraining order to block federal vaccine mandate The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Manchin, Sanders in budget feud; Biden still upbeat Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Key CDC panel backs Moderna, J&J boosters MORE's motion. 

The court’s ruling means the state is now able to go after schools financially that decide to impose mask mandates.

A spokesman for DeSantis, a Republican, quickly hailed the decision on Twitter.

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1st District Court of Appeals just granted the State of Florida's request to reinstate the stay — meaning, the rule requiring ALL Florida school districts to protect parents' rights to make choices about masking kids is BACK in effect!” DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw said on Twitter Friday. 

The ruling by the judge comes two days after DeSantis filed an emergency appeal after a Leon County circuit judge blocked the measure. 

DeSantis has been at the center of controversy over his efforts to ban mask mandates in schools as cases of the coronavirus rise.

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He has argued the decision should be up to parents, and that schools should not be allowed to require the masking of students.

Opponents argue DeSantis's policy is putting children at risk. 

The governor has been going after the salaries of local school board members who vote to impose a mask mandate on students in school. 

One of the attorneys opposing DeSantis criticized the decision.

“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,” said the attorney, Charles Gallagher, in a tweet.

 

Alachua County Public Schools Superintendent Carlee Simon, leader of one of the schools defying DeSantis’s ban on mask mandates, said they are disappointed in the ruling on Friday and will continue to enforce masking in schools despite it. 

“Despite the threat of continued sanctions, we will continue to enforce universal masking in our schools. Fortunately, we have a number of options for replacing funding taken by the state,” Simon said. 

The U.S. Department of Education announced they will provide funding to schools that get cut off due to implementing mask mandates.