MIAMI (WSVN) - South Florida school board leaders are holding their ground despite new legal pressure to drop the face covering requirement on school campuses.
In an interview that aired Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho addressed the ruling from an appeals court in Tallahassee that sided with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who supports letting parents decide whether or not their children should wear masks at school.
“Look, I’m the superintendent of a district that has lost 13 employees since Aug. 16th,” said Carvalho. “We’ve never debated the value of vaccinations for measles, mumps, polio or hepatitis. What’s different now?”
A three-judge panel reversed a previous court ruling in favor of in-class mask mandates.
The new ruling, effective Monday, reinstates the governor’s ban on making masks in class a requirement.
“I believe that the recent actions taken in Tallahassee are contrary to the expert advice of public health and medical entities that declare that mask mandates are protective measures that serve a compelling public interest,” said Carvalho.
DeSantis shared the legal win on Twitter, applauding the court for “restoring parents’ right to choose.”
But will any of the 13 school districts currently defying the governor’s order change course?
In Broward County, the answer is no.
“We will continue to implement our current face covering policy. Our school board will continue to review that policy in an upcoming meeting because the decision is based on the moment of now,” said Broward County Public Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright.
The state could impose salary cuts for school board leaders, as it has threatened for weeks.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has directed the U.S. Department of Education to create a grant program for schools that lose money for maintaining mask requirements.
“I am concerned for our kids. They are being used as political pawns in this political chess game, and that is reprehensible,” said Carvalho.
The Department of Education has also launched an investigation as to whether banning masks in schools is discriminatory for students with disabilities or other health concerns.
“Regardless of threat or consequence, we’re going to stay the course,” Carvalho said.
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