Tennessee’s governor states that parents can opt-out of mask mandates at school.
According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press and Associated Press, Last week Gov. Bill Lee visited McConnell Elementary School in Hixson, Tenn and signed an executive order on Tuesday stating that any school district cannot make it mandatory for the students and staff to wear masks.
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As the Delta variant gave rise to a new coronavirus wave, especially in areas with low vaccination rates, On Monday Tennessee became the latest state where a governor has reduced the effectiveness of the efforts by local school districts that stated that it is mandatory for the students and staff to wear masks as the new school year approaches.
According to the order, a student’s parent or guardian shall have the right to opt-out of any order or requirement” that states it is mandatory for the student to wear a mask at school, on school buses, or at school functions.
According to a New York Times database, The number of new coronavirus cases in Tennessee has been increasing rapidly since July. On Sunday the state recorded its highest weekly average of coronavirus cases since late January.
A video went viral last week showing anti-mask protesters threatening the
doctors who supported the mask mandate during a local school board meeting in Williamson County which resulted in Mr. Lee’s executive order to give the rights to parents to opt-out of the mask mandate.
Tennessee is one of those battlegrounds where the local school officials want a mask mandate while the Republican governor opposes mask mandates.
About two weeks ago, a Republican and an ardent opponent of public health mandates, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, signed an executive order advising the state officials to ensure that the parents have the final say on whether their children will wear masks in school.
The chairwoman, Rosalind Osgood said on a CBS program “We’re living in the nightmare of the Covid pandemic, where there are so many people, including members of our staff and others, who are suffering a lot.” She also said, “we have a constitutional obligation to protect the lives of our students and staff.”
But several school districts have made an appeal to the courts regarding the same.
On Sunday The Texas State Supreme Court announced that the state’s governor has the power to ban the mask mandates, at least temporarily.
The rapidly increasing battles come as schools around the country open with millions of children under 12 years of age who are not eligible for getting vaccinated. Various young people are rapidly being hospitalized as the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading.
According to data collected by the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington more than half of the nation’s largest 100 school districts made it mandatory for all its students to wear masks, as of last week.
Some officials have convicted the mask rules as it is a violation of parental rights, while many stated that they are necessary for public health.