Judge to hear Florida parents’ lawsuit over DeSantis’ ban on school mask mandates


HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa Bay parents are suing the state of Florida and Gov. Ron DeSantis over a controversial order banning mask mandates in public schools.

Parents from a half-dozen Florida counties are suing the governor and state education officials.

One of their lawsuits say the ban violates part of the Florida Constitution requiring the provision of a “uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high quality system” of public schools.

Another lawsuit says the governor’s order violates a federal law that protects children with special circumstances.

“We can’t leave the Americans with Disabilities Act up to parents individually. These are decisions that need to be made at a local level,” said Judi Hayes, a parent involved in the lawsuit.

DeSantis says he stands firmly behind his mask mandate ban.

“Our view is, of course, that we believe this is a decision for the parent,” he said earlier in the month.

“Especially coming from a Republican governor. The Republican Party is supposed to be the party of local control and small government. And so when you don’t allow locally-elected officials to make their own decisions, then you can’t base it on the needs of the community,” said local mother Damaris Allen.

The first hearing for the lawsuit will take place Thursday. A full hearing is scheduled for next week.

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