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Attorney representing parents in lawsuit against DeSantis responds to DCPS investigation

Charles Gallagher believes since there’s no written order from the court the defendants are taking a liberal view of things.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Last week, a judge ruled against the governor's ban on mask mandates giving individual school districts the choice to require masks for their students and staff without any financial penalties.

“He noted that the time frame for compliance would be the day of the written order on the injunction issues as oppose to the court willing itself," said Charles Gallagher, the lead counsel representing the parents in the case against Governor Ron DeSantis. 

While the Duval County School Board jumped on board with mask requirements which plan to take effect September 7,  the district received a letter from the Florida Department of Education.

The Florida Department of Education is investigating Duval County Public Schools for non-compliance with the emergency rule, by limiting or conditioning the parental ability to opt-out of a face mask covering or mask mandate.

Gallagher believes since there’s no written order from the court, the defendants are taking a liberal view of things.

“While we have a window there in between the date of the pronouncement orally and the date of the written order and so they were going to continue business as usual during that window of time," said Gallagher. 

Jared Ochs, Director of Communications and External Affairs at the Florida Department of Education sent First Coast News a statement saying, “As far as I am aware, a signed written order has not been issued. At this point, we will continue to act with urgency to protect the rights of parents and students. We will not let up, and we will not stop holding elected school board members who refuse to follow the law accountable.”

Gallagher says there’s an issue.

“There's this case law in Florida that says that the oral pronouncement is binding and effective during that window of time where you're introducing it to a written order," said Gallagher. 

Gallagher says once the written order is signed the defendant will not be able to continue these ongoing actions and furtherances of the executive order.

Gallagher says there should be a written order from the court ruling soon.