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S.C. reps express ‘great concern’ over mask requirement in schools

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 7:43 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – Some South Carolina representatives are echoing Gov. Henry McMaster’s call to lift the face mask requirement for students across the state.

Stewart Jones, the District 14 representative for Greenwood and Laurens counties, posted a photo of a letter to his Facebook page Tuesday night that is addressed to state Superintendent Molly Spearman.

Signed by 37 members of the S.C. House of Representatives, the letter begins “We write to you with great concern over students in South Carolina schools being forced to wear masks.”

The representatives state that S.C. has worked hard to ensure schools have the resources needed to comfortably return to in-person instruction.

They also point to rising temperatures, saying it is dangerous for students to be forced to wear a mask, especially when outdoors.

“Some students have even been suspended for not wearing a mask. This kind of added stress on students, parents, and teachers is unnecessary. We are asking for your leadership in this matter,” the letter states.

The representatives are asking for the restrictions on children to be immediately lifted and to allow students, parents and teachers to decide individually if they’re going to wear a mask or not.

The full letter can be read below:

My colleagues and I sent a letter today to Superintendent Molly Spearman regarding lifting mask restrictions in South...

Posted by Rep. Stewart Jones on Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Several groups in South Carolina have started protesting school districts’ decision to require face masks for students while in class, stating that it should be a choice. Some have even bought billboards, demanding that masks be optional.

Last week, McMaster weighed in on the controversy, saying it’s ridiculous for school districts to tell parents whether their child should wear a mask. He said it should be the parent’s choice.

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Officials with Horry County Schools said the governor’s comments would impact their policies and they’re waiting on guidance from state and federal health experts on when to make the decision to stop requiring masks.

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