Logo
Sound journalism, grounded in facts and Biblical truth | Donate

Judge blocks Florida mask mandate ban


Students at Barbara Coleman Senior High School in Miami Lakes, Fla., on Monday Associated Press/Photo by Marta Lavandier

Judge blocks Florida mask mandate ban

Ten school districts in Florida defied Gov. Ron DeSantis to require masks, and a group of parents sued the governor. On Friday, Circuit Judge John C. Cooper ruled that DeSantis overstepped his authority by ordering schools not to issue mask mandates. The governor’s office said the state would appeal the ruling.

What was in the order? DeSantis’ order gave parents the decision-making power over whether to mask their children at school, citing a recent Florida law. But Cooper said the districts’ requirements fell within an exception that allows the government to take reasonable, limited actions required for public health. After hitting 21,000 new coronavirus cases per day in mid-August, Florida’s surge in infections and hospitalizations started to slow down. More than 16,000 people entered the hospital for COVID-19 on Thursday in the state.

Dig deeper: Read Lauren Dunn and Esther Eaton’s report on the debate over mask requirements in schools.


Rachel Lynn Aldrich Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

COMMENT BELOW

Please wait while we load the latest comments...

Comments

Please register or subscribe to comment on this article.


DAL

The greatest demoralizer is death. Masks save lives. Given the fact that too many refuse to do the right thing and love their neighbor, if we need mandates to protect us from their selfishness, so be it. Your freedom to swing your fists ends at my nose. There is no "freedom" to harm others. This is not a "freedom" or "liberty" issue. It's a public safety and health issue. If a parent doesn't have enough sense or moral decency to make sure their child wears a mask in school, then it should be mandated to protect that poor child and others. The fact there is even an argument over this tells us too many evangelicals fail at basic ethics. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/masks-save-lives-heres-what-you-need-to-know-2020111921466

not silent

It is rather demoralizing that we are experiencing another increase in cases of the virus and even more demoralizing that hospitalizations and deaths are also increasing. However, I feel I should point out that there is a difference between circumstances and how they make us feel and the intent behind various government policies. I don't know all truth, of course; no one does except the Lord. But I DO know that it's not unusual for medical recommendations to change and to keep changing as new data becomes available and as the situation itself changes. These changes don't mean the previous recommendations were "lies." Human systems are very complex, particularly in a large and diverse nation like ours!

Re masks in particular: I am in healthcare, and nothing is perfect in stopping all infection; but masks have been known to help slow the spread of respiratory illness for literally decades! However, a mask is never the only factor that influences whether people get infected or not. Even WITH masks, quality of the mask matters, as does whether it is worn correctly. I probably wouldn't want a NATIONAL mask mandate, but I think local officials should be able to make decisions based on local conditions. I worked in a hospital and masks were required in some patient rooms for the protection of the patient and/or others (in some cases, we also had to wear gloves and gowns!) It doesn't seem extreme to me for certain types of places where people are indoors and in close contact-and we know there is a virus that could make some of them sick and/or kill some of them-to require masks.

Government officials don't always make the right decisions, of course; and politics almost always enters into it. I am a centrist who doesn't trust either major party, but being willing to wear a mask in the middle of a pandemic caused by a respiratory virus that is sickening and killing thousands of people seems to me like a no-brainer. Doing something to help protect others-even if it's uncomfortable, inconvenient, and demoralizing-seems like a classic example of following the golden rule.

What I find much more demoralizing than the frustration of still having to deal with the pandemic is the outright lies, deception, and manipulation that has gone with it. It's one thing for the secular world to lie and distort info. I debated atheists for years and dealt with lies and misinformation constantly. But I have been shocked and appalled by the number of people who claim to follow Christ but actively promote distortions and misinformation.

Bottom line: I think we have become afraid of the wrong things. Freedom and rights are important, but truth and the gospel are much MORE important.

RKIM8631

Matthew 5:38-48, 6:25-34, 7:21-23, 28:16-20, I Corinthians 9:19-23, 10: 23-24, chapter 13, Mark 12:28-34, Philippians 2:1-11, 21. Ezekiel 34
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2021/07/28/take-covid-19-vaccine-its-christian-thing-do/5389873001/
https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/may-web-only/martin-luther-plague-pandemic-coronavirus-covid-flee-letter.html
https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/03/13/christianity-epidemics-2000-years-should-i-still-go-to-church-coronavirus/
https://faithandleadership.com/resources-christian-leaders-during-coronavirus-pandemic
https://christianity.org.uk/article/coronavirus-a-christian-response
https://www.christianitytoday.com/better-samaritan/2020/july/how-christians-have-responded-to-past-pandemics.html
https://christianchronicle.org/an-open-letter-to-fellow-christians-please-get-the-covid-19-vaccine/
https://www.currentargus.com/story/life/faith/2021/08/10/covid-19-and-christianity/5551395001/
https://time.com/5824128/early-christian-caritas-coronavirus/
https://www.thebanner.org/columns/2020/04/our-public-health-responsibility-as-christians
https://biologos.org/articles/beyond-plandemic-a-christian-response-to-conspiracies

Tim Miller

I don't know enough about Florida's constitution to offer an opinion on the judge's ruling. But I think that a reasonable conservative position would be that these policies are best set by local governments, not state governments.

If masks were only to protect one's self, than the libertarian arguments would make sense. But if they protect others from presymptomatic spread, then it makes sense for local school boards to set policies that apply to all students.

For the record, I live in a state where there is a lot of pressure on the governor to force local governments into mandates.

Molly C

A mask mandate is just one of the campaigns by our leaders to demoralize us. They must end.

SJS

This will never end, it seems. I was pondering what the legal and practical, implications of the simple phrase, ",,,an exception that allows the government to take reasonable, limited actions required for public health." What is reasonable? Limited? Required? Does mandating masks, or anything really fit these standards? I could go on but don't want to turn this into another article. But this seems to get to the root of much of our current politicized health care civil war. Politicians making global health care decisions. Legislatures, elected ,and non-elected, officials deciding what is "best" for everyone. Seems so caring. Is it?