On Wednesday night, a Miami federal judge handed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis a victory when he ruled against parents of students with disabilities in a lawsuit over public school mask mandates.
Twelve parents from eight different Florida school districts whose children have special needs sued the governor and the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) over an executive order (pdf) that allows parents to opt out of student face coverings. The eight school boards of Alachua, Broward, Hillsborough, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco, Miami-Dade, and Volusia were also named in the suit for implementing the governor’s order. The federal suit argued that their children were at elevated risk of becoming ill or dying from COVID-19 if other children came to school without facial coverings.
In Judge K. Michael Moore’s decision, he denied the parents’ request for a preliminary injunction against an executive order that DeSantis issued in July, which was the catalyst for the Florida Department of Health to issue a rule (pdf) requiring school districts to allow parents to opt out of any student mask mandates. So far, 13 school districts have defied the governor’s order. Two counties, Broward and Alachua, have been fined for non-compliance, while others are under investigation by FDOE. more here