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Science, Not Politics, Guide Mask Mandate Rules In South Florida Schools

MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- South Florida schools are not backing down on their mask mandates, despite a court ruling on Friday that allows the state's "mask mandate ban" to stand while the case is appealed.

Many families are in favor of mandatory masking at school.

"They need to wear masks in school to protect these kids," said great grandmother Sharon Turchin while waiting in line to pick up her great grandson.  "He's only 10, he can't get the vaccine.  He needs to be protected," she said.

A smaller number is opposed.

"I'm a vaccinated mom," said Samira Khalifi, "And I think at this point it should be up to us," she said.

Both Miami-Dade and Broward County Public Schools say the mask mandate will be in place until conditions change, and they're already seeing some encouraging early signs.

"When we get to a reasonable level that our experts believe allows us to relax the protocols, we will do so," said Miami-Dade School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.  "Right now, the data is trending in a way that we may reach that position in the next couple of weeks," he said.

Meanwhile, the ban on mask mandates is facing numerous legal challenges.

"We also have a lawsuit for which Broward County, Orange County and Alachua County combined together has filed against the state related to this. We also know the federal government has now also intervened," said Broward Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright.

The feds are looking into whether banning the mandate puts kids with disabilities at risk.

"For the one student who says, 'I have a right not to wear a mask,' It's infringing potentially upon the rights of this child who has a right to that education," Cartwright said.

The districts vow it will be science that changes the rules, not politics.

"The reversals will not have impact on current protocols," said Carvalho. "We continue to be a district informed by public health and medical experts and nothing else," he said.

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