Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Pediatrics groups back parents in mask ban lawsuit

Posted By on Thu, Oct 14, 2021 at 10:42 AM

click to enlarge ADOBE
  • Adobe

State and national pediatrics groups on Wednesday supported a request for a federal appeals court to block Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order that seeks to prevent school mask requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatrics sought approval to file a friend-of-the-court brief supporting families of children with disabilities who are fighting the July 30 executive order. Attorneys for the families are requesting an injunction against the executive order while a lawsuit is pending at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Along with the request Wednesday, the pediatrician groups filed the proposed brief supporting the injunction.



“Over the past 18 months, (the groups) have worked ceaselessly to evaluate the dangers of COVID-19 and potential public health measures for reducing its deadly spread,” the proposed brief said. “The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) has conducted a comprehensive review of the medical literature to determine what public health measures can effectively reduce the grave risk that COVID-19 poses to … children. The result, and the experiences of the AAP’s and FLAAP’s (the Florida chapter’s) front-line pediatric practitioners, prove beyond any doubt that universal mask policies are safe, effective, and necessary.”

Attorneys for the families took the case to the Atlanta-based appeals court after U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore last month refused to issue a preliminary injunction against DeSantis’ executive order.

The lawsuit contends that children with disabilities face increased risks from COVID-19 and that the state’s move to prevent mask requirements has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and another law, the Rehabilitation Act, that protect rights of people with disabilities.

DeSantis argues that parents should be able to decide whether children wear masks, and the state Department of Education is pursuing financial penalties against districts that restrict the ability of parents to opt out of mask mandates.

In his Sept. 15 ruling, Moore wrote that the plaintiffs should have pursued administrative claims before filing the lawsuit. He said the plaintiffs have different circumstances, requiring “unique solutions.”



Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

Tags: , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Calendar

© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation