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Pressure mounting on Miami-Dade School Board ahead of Wednesday meeting, decision on masks

Students in Miami-Dade County go back to school next week but on Wednesday, the school board is expected to make a decision on face masks.

MIAMI – Students in Miami-Dade County go back to school next week.

On Wednesday, the school board is expected to make a decision on face masks.

COVID-19 safety rules, as proposed for the Miami-Dade School Board vote, do provide a mask opt out for parents, and so, for now, fit with state law.

“The current item fully comports, but we had a dramatic shift in information, based on the data regarding positivity rates, feedback from our medical experts,” said Miami-Dade School Board Vice Chair Steve Gallon.

The actual item acknowledges Miami-Dade County’s record number of COVID-19 cases, as well as guidance from the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics, recommending face coverings, and also the rights of parents to opt out.

To view the proposed item, click here.

“Dozens of parents and community stakeholders and teachers and educators that I can anticipate will have something to say on either side,” said Gallon.

Families who want that choice to unmask are organizing to demand it at Wednesday’s meeting.

Lubby Navarro is the only board member to go public with opposition to masking without a choice for parents, then disabled replies on the post, a sign of the heat board members are taking from all sides.

“There are some options that remain on the table that can be articulated and presented tomorrow,” Gallon said.

Since Gallon wrote the item last week, changing COVID-19 conditions may mean it gets thoroughly tweaked in the process before the board vote at Wednesday’s meeting.

That meeting will be the first time that people who actually make the decision will be together to discuss, and to vote.


About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."