Local parents, school leaders react to Gov. Lee’s mask decision

JACKSON, Tenn. — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed an executive order Monday stating that parents now have the option to take their child out of any school mask mandate ordered by their local health department or school district.

Due to COVID cases rising, students and staff in eight schools in the Jackson-Madison County School System were required to wear masks.

In a news release Tuesday, JMCSS says they will be going back to a mask-optional district.

Chester County Director of Schools Troy Kilzer says Chester County Schools have been mask-optional since the beginning of the semester, and they will continue to let parents decide.

“I would advise anybody to choose what is best for you and your family,” Kilzer said. “Whatever the person claims to choose should be supported by what they and their medical providers agreed together.”

Parent Courtney Hall says she will make her children wear masks in schools.

“Especially with the increase in COVID cases and the Delta variant still rising, I think it is very important that we still wear our masks and have a say in whether or not our children wear a mask,” Hall said.

Another parent, Sierra Humphrey, says she and her family have been wearing masks since day one, and she thinks continuing to wear a mask in school is the best plan of action.

“Everybody just wants to fight everything that goes on,” Humphrey said. “I think we should be safe and wear masks. Let’s get the rates dropping so the kids can actually learn and the teachers feel safe going to school.”

We spoke with several other parents and some say they are going to continue to keep their kids in masks, while others say they are not going to. One parent has a special needs kid and she says it is hard to keep him in a mask during school. She will not be requiring him to wear a mask.

Meanwhile, leaders with the Jackson-Madison County School System say the ‘mask mandatory schools’ will be going to ‘mask-optional’ next Monday, August 23.

Do you agree with Gov. Lee’s decision to let parents opt out of school mask mandates? Click here to answer.

For more information on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, click here.

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