BROWARD (CBSMiami) – The Broward School Board says they will be bringing up the topic of masks again at a meeting next Tuesday.
Board Chair Dr. Rosalind Osgood says she voted for mandatory masking last week, and would vote for it again.
The other way doctors advise students to be safe is getting a vaccine, if they are old enough.
Danielle Chin lives in Miami Gardens and says, as she prepares to send her children back to school, she wanted to make sure they were vaccinated.
“As soon as I heard the numbers were going up, I’m like, we’ve got to go do it,” she says. “At first, I was hesitant. But then, I’m like, why are we going to wait?”
She says she was unsure at first because the vaccine was new. However, she was convinced once she saw that the numbers started to go down, after more and more people got the vaccine. Plus, with her baby daughter Destiny born premature, currently in the pediatric intensive care unit, she did not want to risk her getting sick when they bring her home.
“I want to be safe going back to school. I want to be safe for my little sister, Destiny. I just want to be safe, in general,” says Danielle’s son, Marqes Ashby-Chin, a rising junior at Miami Norland Senior High.
They all went to a vaccination event held at his school, and found he and his siblings were only among a handful of students there for the COVID vaccine
“I had a sore arm for, like, a day,” he says. “Then I was back on the court playing basketball.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all who are eligible to get vaccinated, as well as universal masking at school. Whether or not students will be wearing masks in class is still a question.
“Our view is they should absolutely not be imposed. It should not be mandated,” says Gov. Ron DeSantis about masks at school in a roundtable discussion.
Gov. DeSantis issued an executive order barring any school districts from making mask mandates. Otherwise, he threatened to pull their funding.
“The money that the governor is threatening to take away from us is kind of oxymoronic,” says Broward School Board Chair Dr. Rosalind Osgood. “In one breath, he’s saying he’s not going to shut down the state or schools or businesses, but, if he takes money from schools, it would shut them down. Schools need resources to operate.”
Osgood says last week the board voted unanimously to make masks mandatory.
After the governor came out with his latest order, she says the board is now going to revisit the topic next Tuesday. She says she is sticking to her vote for universal masking.
“The data since COVID has really shown us that our students need to be back in school, face-to-face, with their teachers. I, as one board member, believe strongly that we can do that, and we can protect them and keep them safe by making masks mandatory,” she says.
So far, Alachua and Duval County schools have challenged the governor’s order.
As for Miami-Dade, for now masks are still optional, but school officials say they will be meeting with their public health task force and, according to a statement, “hope to be able to craft protocols that ensure full funding of our children’s education, while simultaneously protecting their and their teachers’ health and well-being.”
The legality of the Governor’s executive order has been called into question. Dr. Osgood says that is one of the topics that is going to be discussed next week.
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