MIAMI (WSVN) - Parents and students in the Miami-Dade County school district voiced their opinions on mask mandates outside of the district’s downtown Miami headquarters, as the school board continues to mull on whether or not to have students masked for the upcoming school year.

Delilah Frieden is 8 years old, and she was among the dozen or so who demonstrated in support of masks in front of district headquarters on Wednesday.

“A lot of people still aren’t vaccinated,” she said. “You have no way of telling whether that person is vaccinated or not, and even if they are vaccinated, they can still get corona.”

“To me, not having a mask mandate is just nonsensical,” Denice Frieden, Delilah’s mother, said.

Aaron Alpern, meanwhile, said his son is not old enough to get vaccinated, so he is in favor of the mask mandate.

“It’s important to us that we keep him safe while he learns,” Alpern said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis opposes mask mandates, and his office has threatened to pull funding from districts that impose the requirement, including the pay of school board members and superintendents.

“We believe this is a decision for the parent,” DeSantis said. “Obviously, we believe the parent, rather than the government, should ultimately be able to make that decision.”

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the district will follow the science when they make a decision next week. Despite the governor’s threats, the superintendent said he will not let that affect his decision.

“My position is not a political position,” Carvalho said. “It is a small price to be paid if, in fact, that is the ultimate consequence.”

Broward County Public Schools, meanwhile, voted 8-1 on Tuesday to enforce mask mandates for students, staff and teachers.

The state sent a letter to the BCPS board that said they are immediately beginning an investigation of non-compliance, but the district showed no signs of reversing its course.

“I have a moral responsibility to be my brother and sister’s keeper,” BCPS Board Chair Dr. Rosalind Osgood said.

Meanwhile, teachers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties have been preparing for the upcoming school year.

“This year, I’m looking forward to reconnecting, re-energizing the students,” teacher Kanika Frazier-Wright said.

“For parents, just trust us, trust the system and trust that your kids are going to be OK,” teacher Aisha Carson said.

Miami-Dade County is expected to finalize their decision on mask mandates next week.

School begins in Broward County next week, and Miami-Dade County classes begin a week after.

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