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Florida School Mask Mandate Power Struggle Goes Before Judge

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Students sit in an Algebra class at Barbara Coleman Senior High School on the first day of school, Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, in Miami Lakes, Fla. Miami-Dade County public schools require students to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

(AP) — The politically-charged Florida debate over wearing masks in school to guard against coronavirus infection is now before a judge. Hearings began Monday in a lawsuit that challenges Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order reserving the student mask decision for parents. The lawsuit contends school boards should have authority to require masks as a health and safety matter. The state contends the DeSantis order meets constitutional and legal requirements to give parents choice. At least eight school districts covering more than 1 million students are requiring masks anyway, risking financial punishment by defying DeSantis. The court hearing continues through Wednesday.

 

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