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Miami-Dade County Schools To Mandate Masks In Upcoming School Year

Police stand near the entrance to the Miami-Dade School Board as protesters gathered outside the building Wednesday to argue for and against a mask mandate in the school district's upcoming academic year
Daniel Rivero
/
WLRN News
Police stand near the entrance to the Miami-Dade School Board as protesters gathered outside the building Wednesday to argue for and against a mask mandate in the school district's upcoming academic year

The largest school district in Florida will mandate masks for the school year that starts Monday, joining two others in defying Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Miami-Dade County school board voted 7-1 Wednesday evening to adopt a strict masking policy, with only medical exemptions, based on the recommendations of the district’s public health advisors. The board amended an earlier proposal to remove religious exemptions.

“The stakes are too high for us to not do everything we can to ensure the safety of our children,” said school board member Marta Perez said during the meeting.

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School board member Lubby Navarro cast the lone vote against mandating masks. She argued it was the board’s duty to uphold state laws and regulations, not challenge them. Board member Christi Fraga was absent from Wednesday's meeting.

The board’s decision sets up a battle with DeSantis and state education officials, who voted last night to punish the Broward and Alachua county districts for imposing similar mandates.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho appeared at a state Board of Education meeting Wednesday morning, at Miami Dade College, telling the board members he would also be willing to risk facing sanctions himself.

“For the consequences associated with doing the right thing, … I will wear proudly as a badge of honor,” Carvalho told the board.