Florida School Mask Mandate Power Struggle Goes Before Judge

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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