On Wednesday, a Florida judge ordered that schools can issue mask mandates, ruling against Gov. Ron DeSantis while the appeals court sorts out the legality of the governor’s ban. Leon County Judge John Cooper ruled to vacate an automatic stay given to the state after it appealed his previous decision stating that DeSantis’s executive order banning school mandates is unconstitutional.

DeSantis’s order allowed parents to decide if they want their kids to wear masks to school rather than have local school districts make the decision, prompting a lawsuit brought by a group of parents in favor of school mask mandates. DeSantis said last week he believes the state will win in the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee because of a new state law, the Parents Bill of Rights, which he said gives parents the final authority on their children’s health. “We’ll end up getting it back,” the governor told reporters. “Obviously [Cooper’s ruling], it’s problematic.”

School boards in 13 districts in Florida have voted to defy the order and chose to require masks because of the virus resurgence; however they faced the possibility of having their salaries withheld. The Biden administration had promised federal funds for any district that lost money for requiring masks.

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