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Heard On Sundial: Rallies In South Florida, Broward College’s Future, How Schools Will Reopen

Alexia Fodere
Blanca Idalgo rally alongside demonstrators and President Donald Trump supporters at 8000 NW 154th St. in Miami Lakes, Fl, on June 14, 2020.

On this Monday, June 15, episode of Sundial:

Dueling Rallies In South Florida

Protests over police brutality continued in South Florida for the third week in a row. They’re calling for an end to police violence against the Black community and many are proposing sweeping reforms to the criminal justice system, including defunding of police departments. 

This weekend things were different. There was a “law and order” rally in downtown Miami and in Miami Lakes, Trump supporters celebrated the President’s birthday and carried signs that said “All Lives Matter.”

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“Clearly a direct response to the George Floyd protests,” said Miami Herald reporter, Aaron Leibowitz. “It was actually held in the exact same location as the Black Lives Matter protest that had been held in Miami Lakes a week earlier.” 

We spoke with the Miami Herald’s Bianca Padró Ocasio and Aaron Leibowitz who were both at the protests over the weekend. 

What Will Broward College Look Like After The Pandemic?

Over the past three months, Broward College has been forced to operate remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic. The administration has needed to make cuts to faculty to address the budget shortfalls exacerbated by this crisis. On top of that, they’re considering eliminating all sports programs.

“It wasn’t about cutting sports, it was about looking at the resources that we have and identifying where we have the greatest impact,” said Broward College President Gregory Adam Haile. “If we identify areas that don’t have the desired impact or the greatest impact, then what do we do with those? Are we comfortable saying that we’ll continue to fund them even at the expense of those areas that will have the greatest global impact?”

We spoke with Haile, who oversees the school’s 63,000 students and 5,000 faculty members, about what the future looks like for the college. 

Florida Schools’ Guidelines for Reopening

Gov. Ron DeSantis released a new set of guidelines for schools to reopen this fall. The guidelines include disinfecting of school buses and cafeterias at the end of each day and maintaining social distancing in the classroom by keeping desks six feet apart. Those guidelines come as school districts around the country are developing a set of plans to share with parents, teachers and students. 

“They’re talking about things like perhaps taking the cafeterias and turning then into large classrooms and having people eat lunch in their classrooms,” said Tampa Bay Times education reporter Jeffrey Solocheck. “Parents in some areas are very insistent that they want to know, 'Will there be soap? Will there be towels?' Things that they have said haven’t been there in regular times.”

We spoke with Solocheck about the state’s plans to reopen schools and whether local districts will follow.

WLRN Sundial also spoke with school superintendents across South Florida. You can find those conversations here.

Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.