DeSantis appeals ruling on masks in schools

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has appealed a judge's ruling that the governor exceeded his authority in ordering school boards not to impose strict mask requirements on students to combat the spread of the coronavirus

The governor's lawyers took their case Thursday to the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee. 

DeSantis wants the appeals court to reverse last week's decision by Leon County Circuit Judge John C. Cooper, which essentially gave Florida's 67 school boards the power to impose a student mask mandate. 

DeSantis and state education officials have threatened school districts with financial penalties if they adopt mask requirements without a parental opt-out provision.

RELATED: Florida hospitals see tenfold jump in rate of kids hospitalized for COVID-19 since school began

As of Thursday, 13 school districts, representing more than half of the state’s students, have moved forward with student mask mandates that allow exceptions only when parents present doctors’ notes. Those districts are Alachua, Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Orange, Hillsborough, Duval, Leon, Brevard, Indian River, Sarasota, Lee and Volusia.

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