TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A judge ruled that parents suing the state over Gov. DeSantis' executive order against mask mandates in schools will get their day in court.
What You Need To Know
- Three day hearing set for Monday at 9:30 a.m.
- Governor's attorneys tried to get the lawsuit dismissed
- Judge says parents have a right to have their case heard in court
- Parents say governor's school mask order endangers students with health issues
A Florida circuit judge in Tallahasee dismissed the state's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, allowing the case to go forward.
Judge John Cooper said the parents have a right to have their case heard in court.
The judge set a date for arguments for Monday at 9:30 a.m. It will be a three day hearing.
“I do believe they have a right to challenge the governor,” Cooper said. “I'm not deciding whether they are right or wrong. We'll have to see what the evidence shows.”
DeSantis signed the executive order back in July, saying parents' have the right to decide whether they want their child to wear a mask to public school.
The parents suing say the governor's order endangers children with health issues.
But attorneys for the governor said the parents had no legal standing to sue the state, and the governor's order properly allowed parents to decide whether students should wear masks.
Some school districts have moved forward with a mask mandate anyway. Most are requiring masks but allowing opt-outs for those anti-mask parents, which the state is allowing.
Some, however, have decided to completely defy the state's ban and require masks without opt-outs. The governor and the state Board of Education have threatened to punish local school boards who do this.
An attorney in the lawsuit, Charles Gallagher, said those decisions should be left to local school boards, not imposed by the state.
“They have a right to govern themselves. They can enact their own policies,” Gallagher said.
Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.