Department of Education opens investigation into Florida mask ban
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has opened a civil rights investigation into Florida’s school ban.
The Office for Civil Rights said it has opened an investigation into the Florida Department of Education’s mask rules as they relate to students with disabilities.
“(OCR) opens a directed investigation into whether the Florida Department of Education is preventing state school districts from considering or meeting the needs of students with disabilities as a result of Florida’s policy requiring public schools and school districts to allow parents or legal guardians to choose their children’s out-of-the-mask mandates designed to reduce Risks to students and others of contracting COVID-19 at school,” the investigative letter states.
Similar investigations have been opened in five other states.
“(OCR) … is concerned that Florida’s policy requiring public schools and school districts to allow parents to choose their children outside of mandates may prevent schools in Florida from fulfilling their legal obligations to nondiscriminate on the basis of disability and to provide equal educational opportunity for students with disabilities who are at risk growing to become severely ill from COVID-19,” the investigative letter stated.
RELATED: Florida re-bans mask authorization back until appeals court decides case
On Friday, an appeals court judge reinstated Governor Ron DeSantis’ state ban, while the case continues to run through the courts. The Court did so by reimposing a moratorium on Judge John C. Cooper’s order that halted the authorization ban.
The appeals court victory allows the state to continue punishing the education districts it delegates, at least until the appellate judge rules on the legality of the mandate.