Parents can opt child out of school mask mandate after SC governor issues order

Around the South

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — According to his office, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has issued an Executive Order to allow parents to opt their child out of wearing masks in South Carolina public schools.

This comes just a few weeks after the McMaster called school mask requirements ‘ridiculous.’

Per a release, the governor has directed DHEC, in consultation with the S.C. Department of Education, to develop and distribute a standardized form a parent or legal guardian may sign to opt their child out of mask requirements imposed by any public school official or public school district.

In the release the Governor wrote, “With every adult in our state having the opportunity to receive a vaccine, it goes against all logic to continue to force our children – especially our youngest children – to wear masks against their parents’ wishes. Whether a child wears a mask in school is a decision that should be left only to a student’s parents.”

WSPA reached out to the South Carolina Department of Education for comment.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the South Carolina Department of Education guidelines require masks on school buses and in school facilities.

Their website reads, “Students and staff in South Carolina public schools must wear a face covering upon entering a school building, moving through hallways, during carpool/bus drop off or pickup, and when social distancing is not possible or optimal. Student face coverings may be removed upon teacher or administrator direction while in the classroom or during special activities outside the classroom.”

During a visit to Abner Creek Academy in Spartanburg County Monday, State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said she did not foresee a mask requirement for South Carolina schools next school year.

She said, “We are hoping everything will be back to normal.”

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