Ron DeSantis expects to win mask war with dissident school boards

The state lost a case, but expects to win on appeal.

School boards around Florida are pushing back against a state prohibition on mask mandates, but the Governor predicts they will lose in the end.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, addressing media in Fort Myers Wednesday, said he expected a Leon County case invalidating his executive order banning mask mandates to be overturned on appeal.

“In terms of the school board,” DeSantis said, “these legislators, you know, passed a law to provide parents with certain rights. And those rights include a number of things, but certainly it includes the right for the parent to opt their kid out of any forced masking.”

DeSantis then presented the loss of the circuit level case as a predictable anomaly given a similar instance last year.

“Now, we had a trial judge in Tallahassee who tried to keep the schools from going open last year, we obviously got that corrected on appeal. You know, we had a decision last week,” DeSantis added. “That’s going to be appealed. And we’ll be successful on that front as well.”

“You can’t take away parents’ rights,” DeSantis added. “Parents do have the right under Florida law to make those decisions ultimately and opt out of any forced requirements.”

The Governor made similar remarks at a second stop in Viera.

“It’s interesting, nobody’s ruled against anything we’ve done yet,” the Governor said, noting a lack of a written ruling nearly a week after the verbal was issued.

“Here we are, days later, we still don’t have it. I think part of the reason we don’t have it is it’s not an easy opinion to write from a legal perspective. I think it’s something that’s going to be very vulnerable to being overruled,” DeSantis said.

The Governor’s position is rooted in the Parents’ Bill of Rights affording parents opt-outs from medical requirements imposed by school districts. However, the presiding judge read the law as meaning school boards, and not the state, had the right to protect student health with mask mandates.

Even before the verbal ruling came down last week from Judge John Cooper, the Governor had vowed to appeal the case to the 1st District Court of Appeal if the state lost. Until the written ruling is filed, however, any appeal is on hold.

More than half of the state’s students attend schools in districts contravening the ban on mask mandates, an indication home rule advocates are frustrated by top-down government.

The Florida Department of Education has vowed “investigations” of noncompliant districts and is penalizing wayward school boards by withholding funding equivalent to their salaries while they have mask rules.

Alachua, Broward, and Duval are among the counties facing those penalties.

School districts in Indian River, Leon, Brevard and Orange counties are some of the latest to flout the executive order and emergency rules.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • PeterH

    September 1, 2021 at 11:00 am

    From this article:

    ……. , “these legislators, you know, passed a law to provide parents with certain rights. And those rights include a number of things, but certainly it includes the right for the parent to opt their kid out of any forced masking.”

    You can see where this is going……DeSantis is greasing the skids…… this mask mandate quagmire is going to be blamed on his miserable legislators.

  • Alex

    September 1, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    I support opting the kids out if the parents want.

    Homeschool, or use your own money for a private school.

    No, we taxpayers won’t pay to send them to bible-thumper, fire and brimstone school.

  • Sonja Fitch

    September 1, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    People in hell want ice water! They ain’t getting it! Duffus Desantis prevention ! lol
    Duffus Desantis courts are supporting reasonable protections for the common good! Lock up Duffus Desantis!

  • The G

    September 1, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    DeSantis needs to start heavy punishments and make an example out this Marxist scum in the Schools. It’s time to Terminate them without Pay. Reward all the kids who rebelled against these Unconstitutional mandates that violate Florida Law. The time to be nice is over. Jail any official who segregates or punishes any student for a mask. These lawless officials are trash. Make an example out of them.

    • Cliff Gephart

      September 1, 2021 at 1:38 pm

      Bless your heart.

  • Cliff Gephart

    September 1, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    This isn’t the war. This mask stuff is just a battle that DeSantis is stupidly overcommitting too. The war is the next election, and he’s going to lose. Florida is starting to see what a useless person he is.

  • Frankie M.

    September 1, 2021 at 2:08 pm

    I expect to be the queen of England but that doesn’t necessarily make it so. DeSantis wrote bad law. (Give the guy a break…it’s not like he went to law school or anything.) Besides even if it does get appealed what’s gonna stop local school districts from defying the judge’s ruling just like DeSantis is doing right now by having his henchman Dick Corcoran shake down local school districts?

    • Andre

      September 1, 2021 at 4:03 pm

      What’s going to stop them? That’s an easy one, Governor Ron will Terminate them just like he did to those 2 Election Supervisors. Terminated for breaking State Law HB 241. If they don’t leave the property, they get charged with obstruction of the law and trespassing. Send State Officials into the schools to monitor the situation and let the instructors and principals know that they will be charged with breaking the law HB 241 if they punish any student or staff member for not complying with an illegal mask order.

      • Alex

        September 1, 2021 at 7:01 pm

        DesAnus doesn’t have the power to fire them.

        That’s why he’s trying to withhold their pay.

        He’s a petty tyrant.

        • Libertariantoni

          September 10, 2021 at 10:41 pm

          Liberal madness. Defending liberty and the right to choose is the act of a tyrant. Learn how to think.

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Comments are closed.


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