Judge Cooper Rules Against Governor DeSantis, Mask Mandate Stays
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The closing argument regarding lawsuit that challenges Governor Ron DeSantis’ ban against school mask mandates was set for 10:15 a.m. Thursday by a northern Florida judge, Judge John Cooper of Florida’s Judicial Circuit. Judge Cooper planned to rule at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, August 27, 2021. Cooper declared two weeks ago, in the initial hearing, that he planned to move and rule quickly, “Whatever the result in this case, I think we could suggest to the Supreme Court if they want to know how to try a case really fast that this might be a good case study on how to do it.”
The lawsuit brought by parents of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Orange, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Alachua counties, claiming the governor’s order banning school districts from mask mandate violates Florida’s constitution. The lawsuit names DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Board of Education as defendants. Governor DeSantis maintains that school districts should leave it up to parents to decide whether their children should wear masks in classrooms. Most Florida school districts have left the question of mask wearing optional.
Recently, Sarasota and Leon counties’ school districts joined Hillsborough, Alachua, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties in requiring students to wear masks. On Tuesday, August 24, 2021, Orange County Public Schools approved a 60-day mask mandate for every one from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.
Florida Judge John Cooper ruled partially in favor of parents suing Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Board of Education and Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran over the state’s policies that effectively banned school districts from enforcing mandatory mask policies, in the video published on Aug. 27, 2021, “Florida judge rules against Gov. DeSantis, state agencies’ blanket ban on mask mandates“, below:
This is a win for school board and parents/families. The judge’s order will not take effect in law until it is officially drafted as a written order, expected to take place on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. By then, there would be mask mandate and there will no longer be parental opt-out (unless there is special exemption due to medical situation). From filing to trial to final ruling of this case took only three weeks. This is a state-wide decision. This ruling allows schools to have mask mandate without losing funding.
More than half of Florida’s students are now enrolled in public school districts with mask mandates despite threats of sanctions from the administration of Gov. Ron DeSantis, according to new Washington Post reporting. The panel discusses, in the video published on Aug. 26, 2021, “Is Gov. DeSantis ‘Paying The Political Price’ For Battling Mask Mandate?” below:
The spread of the COVID-19 delta variant has pushed Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to deploy the National Guard to help at hospitals, while Louisiana has just reported 139 deaths in a single day. As school systems in Southern states cope with rising infections, Joy Reid is joined by school administrators resisting their GOP governors’ bans on mask mandates in schools, in the video published on Aug. 24, 2021, “Florida School Administrator: No Way We’ll Follow DeSantis Mask Mandate Ban“, below:
At the end of the day, the main concern is in keeping children and teachers and staff safe.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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