- Title: Students return to school in Florida and Texas amid mask mandate controversy
- Date: 23rd August 2021
- Summary: MIAMI LAKES, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 23, 2021) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** WIDE OF ENTRANCE OF BARBARA GOLEMAN SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL WITH BAND, CHEERLEADERS AND PEP SQUAD PERFORMING CHEERLEADERS STUDENTS ENTERING BUILDING WEARING MASKS VARIOUS OF STUDENTS OUTSIDE SCHOOL, MOST WEARING MASKS WIDE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY MAYOR DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA AND MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT ALBERTO M. CARVALHO STANDING OUTSIDE SCHOOL (SOUNDBITE) (English) DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY MAYOR SAYING: "Speaker 1: I am here 100 percent supporting the superintendent, the school board for their brave decisions, understanding the significance of protecting the students, the teachers, the staff at these schools, supporting the mass media. We've been here from day one working together on testing and vaccinations. And we will continue together to protect the health and safety of our community and all of our children and the adults in our community." (SOUNDBITE) (English) ALBERTO M. CARVALHO, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT SAYING: "But there are still people out there who are misinformed about vaccines and this is the time for us to be reasonable and accept science and accept these vaccines as the best protection against covid-19.â€ HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS SEATED IN CLASS WEARING MASKS CARVALHO INTERACTING WITH STUDENT DERRICK CORONA (SOUNDBITE) (English) DERRICK CORONA, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR, SAYING: "The mask mandate, it kind of makes the school safe. I don't really like the virtual school, even though I had to had to go through it, so even though with the mask, it kind of gives it keeps us safer in school and we're able to actually put a physical learning, which I think it's a better form of learning, so if I have to wear a mask to learn, then I'll wear a mask." HOUSTON, TEXAS, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 23, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CHILDREN ARRIVING FOR SCHOOL BAGGED LUNCHES BEING DISTRIBUTED
- Embargoed: 6th September 2021 19:48
- Keywords: COVID-19 students COVID students masks students return
- Location: MIAMI LAKES, FLORIDA AND HOUSTON, TEXAS, UNITED STATES
- City: MIAMI LAKES, FLORIDA AND HOUSTON, TEXAS, UNITED STATES
- Country: US
- Topics: Health/Medicine,United States
- Reuters ID: LVA001ERI2O1Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Thousands of students in Florida and Texas returned to class on Monday (August 23) in school districts that are defying their governors' bans on mask mandates as COVID cases soar.
The Miami Dade School District welcomed students back following an August 18 decision to impose a mask mandate for the district's 360,000 students, as well as staff -- defying Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' order to ban local mask mandates.
DeSantis said he would strip school funding if districts moved forward with mask mandates. On Friday, the Florida Board of Education told two school districts they would have some of their state funding withheld if they failed to provide parents with a way to opt out of a requirement that their children wear masks.
School boards in Broward and Alachua counties have mandated masks in schools in defiance of Ron DeSantis order.
Like some other Republican governors, DeSantis has called mask-wearing a personal choice which, for students, should be made by parents.
In a tweet, President Joe Biden expressed solidarity with the school districts saying "American Rescue Plan funds can be used to backfill the salaries of the brave Florida school board members, superintendents, and other educators keeping our children safe."
Florida is battling a resurgence of COVID-19 spurred by the highly contagious Delta variant, which is spreading infections mostly among the unvaccinated.
Coronavirus hospitalizations have increased by 28% in the past two weeks, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The state has reported more than 2.91 million COVID-19 cases, trailing only Texas and California.
The Texas Supreme Court rejected Governor Greg Abbott's intervention to suspend a mask mandate, thus allowing schools to require students to wear masks as per the mandates by local authorities.
Abbott argued that state officials did not have time to go through the regular appeals process and allowing local governments to set their own mandate rules would cause confusion.
(Production: Marco Bello, Go Nakamura and Kia Johnson)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None