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Miami-Dade public schools not yet decided on mask mandate with classes starting soon

The Miami-Dade County Schools has yet to announce a final decision on masks in schools.

MIAMI, Fla. – The first day of school is quickly approaching in Miami-Dade County, but the state’s largest school district has yet to make a final decision on masks in schools.

The decision is scheduled for next week. On Friday, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and Miami Dade Public Schools Board Member Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall spoke out.

“How dare we not be the heroes and the champions of our children? We must wear the mask,” she said.

The superintendent echoing what he has said before, which is that he intends to follow the science.

[RELATED: Broward schools stand by face mask mandate]

“These masks are not a symbol of anything other than prevention and protection. To politicize this is quite frankly hitting a new low in a narrative in our communities.”

There is a meeting Monday afternoon of the district’s public health experts and the school board meets on Wednesday.

“Immediately after that, I guarantee to the community that there will be very specific guidance on this matter,” he said.

Amid a case surge and rising pediatric cases along with no vaccine available for kids under 12, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis bucked guidance from the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics with an order that bans mask mandates in schools.

On Twitter, school board member Dr. Lubby Navarro echoed the Governor’s parental choice rhetoric, saying that she did not support children having to wear masks in school.

“My choice is to tell anyone who makes those kinds of statements that it’s wrong for us not to protect our children,” she said.

Bendross-Mindingall responded by saying: “It is her choice to make those remarks, nonetheless, my choice is to tell anyone who makes those kinds of statements it’s wrong for us not to protect our children. That goes for anyone and everyone. I am standing here to protect children.”

The governor has claimed he can defund districts that defy the order and threatened the salaries of district leaders who oppose it

“If it ultimately means my job, that is fine, too. Either you stand for something this important or you stand for nothing. And that’s my position.”

And the decision is coming down to the wire as school in the district starts on Monday, Aug. 23.

About the Author:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."