Mandatory School Masking Ends In Florida

Miami-Dade, Broward and Alachua counties are ending mandatory in-school masking following a prolonged legal battle between school districts and the state.

“The data do not support any clinical benefit for children in schools with mask mandates,” Florida’s Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo said Oct. 20. “The highest-quality data find no evidence of benefit.”

Related: New Jersey’s COVID-19 numbers now greater than Florida’s where mask and vaccine mandates are banned

Alachua parents can opt their children out of school masking beginning January 4, according to the Gainesville Sun.

Miami-Dade, Florida’s largest school district, will allow students to opt out of masks in school with parental permission starting Friday, the Associated Press reported. Broward will implement an opt-out policy for masking Nov. 20, which will allow parents to choose whether their kids mask in school, Local 10 reported.

These were the last three of the eight school districts which implemented mask mandates in defiance of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s mask mandate ban. The ban was blocked in court Sept. 8 and reinstated by the 1st District Court of Appeal two days later.

The Florida Board of Education sanctioned the offending school districts Oct. 8, withholding funds equivalent to 1/12 of all school board members’ salaries.

“Alachua County stubbornly resisted state law for most of the fall semester,” Jeff Childers, an Alachua attorney who was involved in the school mask fight, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“It was sanctioned by the Board of Education — twice — and rebuked by two courts … It’s a woeful example of a massive waste of taxpayer dollars that has left the county sideways with the state, a situation that could harm our students for years to come.”

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