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Florida school mask mandate power struggle goes before judge

Photo: Ron DeSantis
Photo: Ron DeSantis

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The politically-charged Florida debate over wearing masks in school to guard against coronavirus infection is now before a judge.

Hearings began Monday in a lawsuit that challenges Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order reserving the student mask decision for parents.

The lawsuit contends school boards should have authority to require masks as a health and safety matter. The state contends the DeSantis order meets constitutional and legal requirements to give parents choice.

At least eight school districts covering more than 1 million students are requiring masks anyway, risking financial punishment by defying DeSantis. The court hearing continues through Wednesday.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.