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Sundial

Broward Interim Superintendent, Tokyo Paralympic Games, And '¡Fuácata!'

A general view of action during a New Zealand Wheelchair rugby practice session ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at Yoyogi Sports Arena on August 22, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
A general view of action during a New Zealand Wheelchair rugby practice session ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at Yoyogi Sports Arena on August 22, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

Broward voted in favor of a mask mandate even under threat of losing some board members losing their salaries. A local Paralympian leading the refugee team in the Tokyo games. Plus, a Latina’s guide to the universe.

On this, Monday, Aug. 23, episode of Sundial. 

Broward Interim Superintendent

Some Broward County school board members could lose their salaries starting Tuesday.

State Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran threatened them with the loss of their salaries if the board didn’t remove the school district’s mask mandate.

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The same threat was made to Hillsborough County. Meanwhile, other districts like Alachua, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties have also added mask mandates.

A small school district in Texas went against their governor’s executive order banning mask mandates by making it part of its uniform policy.

“That is something that I do know our legal team is looking into, because within the actual clothing, dress code policy, it clearly states that those types of decisions are to be made at the local level,” said Broward Schools Interim Superintendent, Vickie Cartwright.

She doesn’t anticipate that board members will change their minds about mandating masks in the classroom, citing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and alarming COVID data for that decision.

President Joe Biden has announced that he would replace all salaries lost and is threatening a lawsuit against governors interfering with school district business.

Broward Interim Superintendent
Masks for Kids going to School

Tokyo Paralympic Games

The Paralympic Games in Tokyo start Tuesday.

This time around, things are certainly different. After being postponed for a year — the games are finally happening. Still, with COVID protocols.

Sundial spoke with Paralympian Ileana Rodriguez, who is a refugee from Cuba and is currently in Tokyo leading the refugee team.

“I think language is one big challenge because not all of the athletes speak one single [language] and not all of them speak English or we have one common language among all of us,” said Rodriguez, adding that technology has been very helpful in helping athletes connect and communicate.

“This is something that we need to work on in Tokyo as well to keep the team together and to keep on making them feel like they're part of a team, that they're not just an isolated athlete.”

Ileana Rodriguez | Chef de Mission for Refugee Paralympic Team | Paralympic Games

She is also a Florida International University graduate, who competed in the 2012 Paralympics in London, where she represented the U.S., competing in swimming.

“Walking into the stadium with the rest of the team was definitely a great memory for myself and knowing that not only I was there representing the United States, which I had the opportunity to do back then, but also being part of something much bigger, where you have countries from all over the world in one place. And the only thing that really matters [is] sports,” Rodriguez said.

Tokyo Paralympic Games
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¡Fuácata!

The Actor’s Playhouse in Coral Gables is staging "¡FUÁCATA! or A Latina’s Guide to Surviving the Universe" now through Sept. 12.

It stars more than 20 Latina characters, all played by Elena María García.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 the theater will not be at full capacity and will require masks and social distancing for all patrons. They’ve also installed improved air circulation and made the ticketing process and bathroom facilities touchless.

Sundial spoke with Garcia back in 2018, when the show was first performed at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami. Find that conversation here.

¡Fuácata!
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Leslie Ovalle produces WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. She previously produced Morning Edition newscasts at WLRN and anchored the midday news. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.