A Florida judge ruled Friday that school districts can require students and staff to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, saying Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order banning the mandates was “without legal authority,” according to AP.
Why it matters: Multiple Florida school districts have defied DeSantis’ order despite threats from the governor to withhold state funding from schools that don’t comply.
- DeSantis’ order ignores recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The governor maintains that it should be up to parents to decide whether their child should wear a mask.
What they’re saying: Leon County Circuit Judge John C. Cooper said a school district’s decision to require masks to prevent the spread of the virus is reasonable and limited in scope and necessary to protect public health, per AP.
By the numbers: DeSantis issued the order, despite Florida experiencing a spike in new infections largely due to the Delta variant.
- Florida reported 21,765 new cases and 901 deaths from the virus on Thursday, according to the Miami Herald.
The big picture: The Biden administration announced in August that it would give financial assistance to schools defying executive orders that ban mask mandates for students and educational staff.
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has issued a similar order effectively banning mask mandates.
Go deeper: Coronavirus case surges force school closures
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