A Florida judge cleared the way Wednesday for school districts to implement mask mandates while Gov. Ron DeSantis issues an appeal. Judge John Cooper removed a stay that had been in place for the rule, allowing counties such as Miami-Dade, Broward, Alachua, and others to proceed with their mask orders. “It’s undisputed that in Florida we are in the midst of a COVID pandemic,” Cooper said in court Wednesday. “Based on the evidence I’ve heard, there’s no harm to the state if the stay is set aside.”
DeSantis had been battling parents in court over a law he signed preventing mask mandates, ironically arguing that the mandates infringe on a parent’s right to choose. It’s a fight that has escalated considerably, leading to the state’s education department withholding school board members’ salaries. Despite those actions, countries across the state have implemented mask rules to combat the surge in COVID-19 cases.