Governor says masks not required at school; not sitting well with some state leaders


AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) — The new CDC guidance does not mention children or masking in schools specifically those kids under the age of 12. South Carolina Governor McMaster said recently, schools in his state can’t require masks. For one state leader, the decision isn’t sitting very well.

“I asked them not to do this, that we needed to finish the school year with the mandate in place as it was,” State Superintendent Molly Spearman said.

It’s been a lot of controversy surrounding masks in South Carolina schools. Some wanting to do away with it. Others wanting it in place at least for a little while.

“it probably would have been better to wait for another month or two before we relaxed mask mandates in this way,” SCDHEC Director Dr. Edward Simmer added.

Governor Henry McMaster’s recent order left mask-wearing at schools to the parents of students who could opt-out. The state department of education then decided to rescind the mass requirement order that they had in place.

NewsChannel 6 checked in with two school districts in the area about how they will continue with masks going forward. In Aiken County, Superintendent King Laurence says that masks will be optional but a D-HEC opt-out form would not be required.

“Students are changing classes throughout the day. It’s next to impossible for the teacher in every class period to make sure which students have an opt-out form,” Superintendent of Aiken County Schools King Laurence said.

In Allendale County, school leaders posted the following statement on social media:

“In light of the executive order issued by Governor McMaster regarding face masks, the scholars in Allendale County School District will continue to wear face masks until the end of the school year.”

We’ve reached out to the district to find out more about its decision and we are still waiting to hear back.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the state department of education told me that districts can in fact challenge the governor’s authority to issue the executive order.

A judge would have the final say on who’s correct.

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