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Alachua County School Board files legal action against Florida Department of Health

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 9:42 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The Alachua County School Board along with Orange and Broward Counties are seeking to invalidate the Florida Department of Health’s ban on mask mandates.

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Friday afternoon a petition was filed asking for an administrative judge to hear the case.

In August, the department released an emergency rule, at the direction of the governor’s office, that requires an opt-out option for school mask mandates. It said, “Students may wear masks or facial coverings as a mitigation measure; however, the school must allow for a parent or legal guardian of the student to opt-out the student from wearing a face-covering or mask.”

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The school boards argue the rule is outside of the department’s authority. They also believe the mask mandates are a reasonable measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Thursday a circuit judge ruled in another case that the mask mandates do not violate the law. The judge’s order removed the ban, but it was automatically reinstated when the state filed for an appeal.

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