Lawsuit seeks to block Gov. DeSantis’ order on school mask mandates

Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Brad Rosenheim has two children enrolled in the Midtown Academy in Pinellas County. He believes his children and others should wear masks when school begins next week.

“With this virus spiking the way it is, masks are one thing, one simple thing that can keep our children safe,” Rosenheim said.

He’s now started a petition, demanding Pinellas County school leaders hold an emergency meeting to require masks at the start of the school year.

In less than 40 hours, his petition gained more than 1,000 signatures.

“We just hope the Pinellas County School Board will hear us and make a decision based on medical advice,” he said.

Governor Ron DeSantis has filed an executive order preventing local school districts from requiring masks in schools. A group of six attorneys from across Florida are filing a lawsuit challenging the governor’s authority to issue such an order.

“The Florida constitution is pretty resolute in that home rule is guaranteed entitlement of cities and municipalities and to govern their own affairs the way they want to,” said Attorney Charles Gallagher.

Erin Woolumns is another attorney working on the lawsuit.

Woolumns has two children of her own in Pinellas schools and thinks DeSantis is taking legal authority away from local school districts.

“Each district should be responsible for determining their own rules and what’s safe for their children in their particular counties based upon the COVID positivity number, the death numbers, all of that taken into consideration,” she said.

DeSantis maintains the decision about masks should be left to parents and not local school boards or the state.

“So the legislature passed a parents bill of rights that I signed into law about a month and a half ago and laid down the law in the state of Florida, that parents have the fundamental right to raise their children, their health and wellbeing, and that that has to be respected by the state at all levels of government,” the governor said.

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