Appeal Court Reinstates Mask Mandate Ban

In another step in the saga between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and local school districts, the 1st District Court of Appeal has given DeSantis a temporary victory by reinstating Florida’s mask mandate ban. The ban was initially signed by DeSantis through executive order in July.

The mask mandate ban has faced multiple steps in legal challenges by local school districts and parents seeking to have their school districts impose mask mandates for their students.

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Florida Board of Education Gives School Districts 48 Hours to Comply with Mask Order

The Florida Board of Education has notified officials at two school districts that they must comply with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order banning mask mandates within 48 hours or face financial penalties.

In a letter sent on Friday, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said both Broward County and Alachua County must comply with the order.

“It is important to remember that this issue is about ensuring local school board members, elected politicians, follow the law. These public officials have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Florida. We cannot have government officials pick and choose what laws they want to follow,” Corcoran said in a statement.

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Virginia Gov. Northam Mandates Masks in Private and Public K-12 Schools

Governor Ralph Northam mandated masks at indoor settings for all people over age two at public and private K-12 schools in Virginia.

Northam said in a Thursday announcement, “This Public Health Order makes it very clear that masks are required in all indoor K-12 settings, and Virginia expects all schools to comply.”

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Florida Publishes Rules Related to Parents Rights, Mask Mandates in Schools

Amid the debate over mask mandates in schools, the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) and the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) took steps to provide options to parents.

In a Friday press release, the Office of Governor Ron DeSantis stated that “the Florida Department of Health and State Board of Education issued Emergency Rules to protect parents’ freedom to choose what is best for their children. These rules are pursuant to Executive Order 21-175 and encourage a practical and effective in-person learning environment for Florida’s schoolchildren during the upcoming school year, while preventing the unnecessary removal of healthy students from school and safeguarding the rights of parents and their children.”

“When the wellbeing of our students and our constitutional freedoms are at stake, we will stand up for Florida families,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Giving parents options to make these decisions is not controversial. I’m proud that today we took action to make sure school administrators respect parents’ rights to make educational and healthcare decisions for their families. I will continue to fight to protect Florida’s families from government overreach and to preserve their God-given rights.”

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Florida School Board Member Blames Unvaccinated for Her Getting COVID

Rosanne Wood

Leon County, Fla. School Board Member Roseanne Wood announced she has tested positive for COVID, and she blames unmasked, unvaccinated attendees at a school board meeting for her positive COVID infection.

Wood specifically notes she was wearing her mask and has received her vaccine, yet she still tested positive.

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Poll Shows Plurality of Floridians Support Mask Mandates

In a new poll from St. Pete Polls taken from Aug. 2nd through 3rd, 62 percent of likely Florida voters support mask mandates for schoolchildren.

The poll was conducted after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced the signing of an executive order banning mask mandates in Florida’s public schools. The order also directed the state to craft penalties and punishments for school districts who choose to ignore the state’s directive and impose a mandate regardless.

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Governor DeSantis Signs Executive Order Banning Mask Mandates in Florida Schools

Governor DeSantis praised Florida parents’ “freedom to choose” before signing an executive order (EO 21-175) Friday, stopping Florida schools from issuing mask mandates for students.

The executive order cites HB 241, known as the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” that expanded upon the rights parents have regarding their children’s education, health, and upbringing. For example, the decision to not make their kids wear a mask. 

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