Governor DeSantis is facing two separate lawsuits related to the executive order (EO 21-175) he signed on July 30th that banned school districts from issuing mask mandates in schools.
Both plaintiffs, a father of three from Broward County and a group of parents from multiple counties across the state, challenge the constitutionality of the order.
According to CNN, Barry Silver, the attorney who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the father of three, said in the suit, “Florida is among the states with the highest number of Covid-19 victims in the country, and the number of afflicted people is growing rapidly. The danger to Plaintiff and his children and all others they come into contact with is severe, unreasonable, and growing by the day.”
An attorney working on the other lawsuit, Charles Gallagher, told CNN that DeSantis and other lawmakers are “framing this as a parent choice issue when this is really a public health issue.”
Gallagher’s comment is in reference to DeSantis’ acknowledgement of the parents’ “freedom to choose” as the catalyst for the executive order, which ultimately stems from the Parents Bill of Rights that he signed at the end of June.
Prior to signing the order, DeSantis held a press conference where he stated, “In Florida, there will be no lockdowns, there will be no school closures… no restrictions, and no mandates in the state of Florida. Floridians have been, are, and will remain, free to choose what’s best for themselves and their families.”
In conclusion, as far as the constitutionality of the order, Gallagher argued, “The Florida Constitution guarantees a safe school environment and gives counties the power to govern themselves. DeSantis’ executive order attempts to strip the power away from school districts that are run by elected officials,” according to the report.
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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “School Children in Masks” by Metro Nashville Schools.