wplg logo

Local school districts only ‘encouraging’ mask wearing since DeSantis law took effect

Masking in schools will now be encouraged, not required. It's a decision both Miami-Dade and Broward schools made following several bills the governor signed into law.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Masking in schools will now be encouraged, not required, which is truly disappointing to some parents like Robyn McCarthy.

“I feel like it’s a really childish political move because we have innocent children that can’t defend themselves,” McCarthy said.

It’s a decision both Miami-Dade and Broward schools made following several bills that Florida Ron DeSantis signed into law, one of which states that parents should decide if their child wears a mask in the classroom.

“Now the school districts really have no choice but to follow this law,” said attorney Michael Dietz.

It was 10 days ago that both school districts announced they were relaxing their school masking rules because COVID-19 numbers were trending in the right direction. Both superintendents have been adamant that their masking protocols be guided by science.

“This is a significant blow to local control because this decision is quite frankly on the books at the state level,” Steve Gallon, Miami-Dade School board vice chair, said

The new law also says children with no symptoms won’t be required to quarantine if they are exposed to someone with covid-19.

“I think it’s a political gamble and we are gambling on lives of people and I think that’s wrong,” Dietz said.

Health experts remind us the pandemic is not over and believe that this is putting politics over health.

“The fact that there are politicians that are dividing us over these types of things is just sad,” said Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert with Florida International University.

There are still questions as to what happens if there is a COVID-19 surge.

Meanwhile, the new law expires in June of 2023.


About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.