The federal government is paying attention to South Carolina’s attitude towards school masks


U.. NS. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona has sent a letter to South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and Ministry of Education supervisor Molly Spearman warning of policies that prevent the school district from demanding masks. rice field.

“South Carolina’s actions to prevent school districts from voluntarily adopting science-based strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Adopt policies to protect students and educators in their safe return to the face-to-face instructional plans required by federal law, which may violate the authority of the school district. ” letter Said.

South Carolina, along with Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah, was one of eight states that received a letter from Cardona on Wednesday.

McMaster responded to the letter on Twitter, but did not support his opinion that parents should decide whether or not their children should wear masks.

“If [President Joe Biden] Put as much effort into Afghanistan’s withdrawal plans as Afghanistan is trying to force our children into masks. That way, Americans and allies won’t get stuck behind their enemies. He is more interested in the Republican governor than the Taliban, “McMaster tweeted.

McMaster and Attorney General Allan Wilson of South Carolina have been fighting state universities, school districts, and local governments over mask obligations in recent weeks.

The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled against Wilson this week, deciding that higher education institutions could demand masks from all students. Wilson sued the city of Columbia on Thursday over the school’s mask mission.

“It was wrong for the government to cover up children and protect adults of choice, and we are not going to do that,” McMaster said. “Forcing a mask is not the answer. Personal responsibility is the answer.”

But Spearman disagrees. She said on Tuesday that the local school board should decide on those policies and that Congress needs to return to the legislative session or the dispute needs to be settled in court to resolve the issue. ..

“Spearman empowers locally elected school leaders in South Carolina to take in the views of their parents and their communities and make decisions that affect the health and well-being of the students they serve. We have made clear our support for this, “said Ryan Braun, Chief Communications Officer. He said Thursday about Cardona’s letter for the South Carolina Department of Education.

Cardona mentioned in his letter state funding under the American Rescue Planning Act. South Carolina received $ 2.1 billion in emergency relief for ARPA’s primary and junior high schools, receiving $ 1.4 billion on March 24 and $ 705 million last week.

“This state-level action on science-based strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 appears to be limiting the development of regional health and safety policies and is tentatively embodied by the U.S. Department of Education. It is in conflict with the school district planning process that was done. Final requirements, “writes Cardona. “As you know, under the US Rescue Planning Act of 2021 (ARP Act), each LEA receiving Elementary and Junior High School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funding plans for a safe return to face-to-face instruction and continued service. We are obliged to adopt it. “

Spearman said the state wants to be able to school without masks this year, but Delta variants have changed that, “statistics showing that this is spreading among children never before. There is. “

“Not only are we vaccinated, but we also send our children to school with masks on for the community of children in the classroom,” said Spearman.

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tag: state, news, South Carolina, coronavirus, school

Original author: John Steiff, Center Square

Original location: The federal government is paying attention to South Carolina’s attitude towards school masks