U.S. Opens Probe Into Possible Civil Rights Violations By Florida’s Ban On Mask Mandates

The U.S. Department of Education has launched an investigation into possible violations of disabled college students’ civil rights by Florida’s ban on faculty masks mandates, it knowledgeable the state on Friday.

The motion follows lawsuits against several states that had barred masks mandates. The fits, filed by mother and father of scholars with disabilities, argue that permitting maskless academics and college students at faculties basically denies a public schooling to their kids as a result of it’s too dangerous for the notably weak inhabitants to attend.

The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights is “opening a directed investigation” into whether or not the statewide ban on masks necessities in faculties “may be preventing school districts in the state from considering or meeting the needs of students with disabilities,” Suzanne Goldberg, the Education Department’s appearing assistant secretary for civil rights, acknowledged in a letter to Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. 

The probe will “focus on whether, in light of this policy, students with disabilities who are at heightened risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are prevented from safely returning to in-person education, in violation of Federal law,” the letter famous.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s ban on masks mandates “may be preventing schools from making individualized assessments about mask use so that students with disabilities can attend school and participate in school activities in person, consistent with their right to receive a free appropriate public education and to be free from discrimination based on their disability,” the letter added. 

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona instructed The Hill that he has heard from mother and father throughout the nation, particularly these of youngsters with disabilities, that state bans on “universal indoor masking are putting their children at risk and preventing them from accessing in-person learning equally.”

It’s “simply unacceptable that state leaders are putting politics over the health and education of the students they took an oath to serve,” he added.

The federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibit disability-based discrimination and grant all college students the precise to a free and applicable schooling. Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 additionally prohibits discrimination in public faculties.

Florida’s First District Court of Appeals reinstated DeSantis’s ban on faculty masks mandates on Friday after a Leon County circuit decide blocked the manager order. 

Several faculty districts have ignored the governor’s government order banning masks mandates in an effort to shield the well being of workers members and college students.

Corcoran didn’t instantly return a request to remark from HuffPost.

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