TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA/Cap News Services) – Duval County has become the eighth school district to enact a mask mandate for schools, as other county school boards consider bucking the state and executive order.
Parents seeking to throw out the state’s ban on mask mandates rested their case Tuesday.
The lawyers representing parents in the school mask suit rested their case just before noon, after calling three doctors and a parent.
Lesley Abravevane, a mother of 10-year-old twins was asked why she brought the suit.
“Because we’re throwing out children pretty much into a petri dish right now,” said Abravevanel.
She testified she was scared to send her kids back to class.
“I’m very nervous. I’m sorry. I’m very very nervous,” said Abravevanel.
She told the court masks were not a matter of choice and should be mandated.
“God forbid, a school shooter, and now we have to worry about them catching a deadly pandemic,” said Abravevanel.
Three doctors called by the plaintiffs said kids 12 and under were at a greater risk.
“I currently have a child in kindergarten and one in second grade, and they both wear masks to school,” said pediatrician Dr. Grace Huute.
The trial comes as cases continue to increase throughout the state.
“My current understanding is that Flordia is second only to Mississippi in the number of hospitalized children,” said pediatrician Dr. Mona Mangat.
Dr. Tony Kriseman with John Hopkins Children’s Hospital testified masks are one of the effective tools.
“There was difference with ventilation and there was a difference with masking. And the ultimate conclusion is that they are both very effective measures that should be introduced in a layered fashion,” said Dr. Kriseman.
After lunch, the State asked for the case to be dismissed, but the judge said no.
The state spent the afternoon relying on the same doctor the Governor has recruited when making past decisions, even showing a 50-minute clip of a roundtable.
“And there’s literally no randomized evidence whatsoever for these masks in schools,” said Stanford University COVID Researcher Dr. Jay Bhattacharya in the July video.
The case wraps up Wednesday with closing arguments, but no decision is expected until at least Thursday.
Both sides are expected to appeal if the decision goes against them.