Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has officially filed an appeal Thursday to try and reverse a decision made by a judge who struck down his ban on schools implementing mask mandates.
The appeal, which was filed with the 1st District Court of Appeals located in Tallahassee, is designed to overturn the ruling of Judge John C. Cooper, a Leon County Circuit Judge. Cooper had stated previously that DeSantis was overstepping his state authority by making the July executive order on mask mandates.
Looking at the legislation and orders in question, Cooper said that masking mandates do not need to “include a parent-opt out at all,” according to the Associated Press.
The ruling enabled Florida county school boards to put mask mandates in place if they choose. Yet, as the AP reports, DeSantis’s appeal now stays the ruling, meaning that it’s at least temporarily suspended.
When Cooper issued his decision last week, a spokesman for DeSantis released a statement saying that Cooper’s decision went against parents rights and ignored “science and facts.”
“It’s not surprising that Judge Cooper would rule against parent’s rights and their ability to make the best educational and medical decisions for their family, but instead rule in favor of elected politicians. This ruling was made with incoherent justifications, not based in science and facts – frankly not even remotely focused on the merits of the case presented,” the statement read.
Earlier in the week, the Florida governor stated that he believed his appeal would prove to be successful, telling reporters Monday, “It’ll be appealed. We’ll end up getting it back. At the end of the day, ultimately, we’re just trying to stand with the parents.”
A huge part of the debate raging about schools having mask mandates has to do with the state’s Parents Bill of Rights law.
“Cooper believes that the law doesn’t extend to the issue of masking, while DeSantis argues that it does. DeSantis said that a similar case could be made if schools had banned anyone from wearing a mask instead of mandating that everyone wear one,” the report says.
“I’ll bet you you’d have parents sue under the Parents’ Bill of Rights, say, ‘Hey, wait a minute, I think this is in the best interest of my child to go to school to wear — you know what, I think that they would win on that,” he went on to say according to Florida Politics.
The initial order created by DeSantis stated that coronavirus protocols in schools should not “not violate Floridians constitutional freedoms” or “violate parents’ rights under Florida law to make healthcare decisions for their minor children.”
The appeals comes just as it was announced that two school district boards in Florida had their pay withheld for mandating children wear masks in their facilities.
“We’re going to fight to protect parent’s rights to make health care decisions for their children. They know what is best for their children,” Richard Corcoran, Florida’s Education Commissioner stated in response to the action that was taken. “What’s unacceptable is the politicians who have raised their right hands and pledged, under oath, to uphold the Constitution but are not doing so. Simply said, elected officials cannot pick and choose what laws they want to follow.”