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The Fight Over Masks In Florida Schools Continues, And 'Birds Of Paradise'

Courtesy of Pioneer Winter
Gabriela Cruz in Birds of Paradise, a dance performance premiering at the  Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami.

The battle over masks in schools escalates. Plus, a new theatrical production coming to the Arsht Center explores LGBTQ identity through dance. 

On this, Monday, Sept. 13, episode of Sundial. 

The Fight Over Masks In Florida Schools Continues

The saga between Gov. Ron DeSantis and local school districts over requiring students to wear masks in schools continues to develop.

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The 1st District Court of Appeals sided with Gov. DeSantis, and his administration, saying the state can continue to punish school officials who vote to impose mask mandates without a parent opt-out option.

The state has already been withholding the salaries of some Broward County School Board members.

The attorney representing the parents seeking to overturn the governor’s ban on mask mandates, wants the case to go straight to the Florida Supreme Court.

“He wants it to go quickly because he says that there are things happening all over the state. There are challenges happening. And so it seems best for the Supreme Court to rule and just handle it finally, once and for all,” said Jeff Solochek, an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times.

President Joe Biden announced a new grant to cover any salaries that are being withheld.

We also heard the latest episode of WLRN’s Tallahassee Takeover podcast. Reporters Jessica Bakeman and Danny Rivero take us into the backstory of what led up to this fight. Find that full episode here.

The series explores the many ways in which the state government seeks to take control from local municipalities, school boards and other elected officials.

The Fight Over Masks In Florida Schools Continues
Masks for Kids going to School

Birds Of Paradise 

Live theater is back in South Florida — with new COVID guidelines.

The new requirements are coming as the highly contagious delta variant continues to spread.

Local theater venues like the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami are expected to announce new audience testing policies soon. Right now, face coverings are required for all guests.

Birds of Paradise by Pioneer Winter Collective

“We were we're lucky that because of the vaccination and just the different health and safety protocols that we have while at the center, we've been able to tiptoe back into having ensemble rehearsals. And so it's the project has really come full circle," said Pioneer Winter, who is the creator and choreographer of the "Birds of Paradise" show and the Arsht Center’s artist-in-residence. "We abandoned the idea of being an ensemble, but in the end, we got to return to that as a way of being able to create a group dance that reflects on each of their solos."

The new in-person performance is opening at the Arsht Center this Thursday, Sept. 16. Find more information here.

Birds Of Paradise

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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.