A Florida judge ruled Friday afternoon that public school systems in the state can impose mandatory masking on students with no parental opt-out delivering a defeat to Gov. Ron DeSantis.
In July, the governor had issued an emergency order stating that parents could opt their children out of any mask requirements issued by public school districts and he was later sued by parents’ groups who stood in favor of masking.
DeSantis based his ban upon the Florida Parents’ Bill of Rights however Judge John Cooper of the 2nd Judicial Circuit ruled that he had no legal authority to do so.
Cooper also said in his ruling that increasing COVID-19 infections and more contagious variants of the virus factored into his decision.
Nearly a dozen school districts, including Palm Beach County, had defied DeSantis’ order and made masks mandatory in their schools.
Almost 3,000,000 public school students are affected by Friday’s ruling.
DeSantis intends to appeal the decision.