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Charleston Co. school board chair says district can’t punish students who don’t wear masks

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 6:12 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2021 at 6:27 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County School Board Chair Rev. Erick Mack said the district cannot punish students who do not wear masks.

Those comments were made during a school board meeting on Monday evening. Mack said the district will not deny access to students’ education if those rules aren’t followed, but wants parents to consider that their kids follow the rules.

Last week, the school board voted 8-1 to require students and staff to wear masks at Charleston County school facilities through Oct. 15. According to Mack, that vote came from discussion during executive session with medical advice and legal advice as well as moving forward “with the best course of action” the board can take.

During Monday’s meeting, several parents shared concerns about how many student-athletes missed the beginning of the school year because of quarantining procedures. The district says it’s aligned with DHEC’s 10-day quarantine procedure, which it chose instead of a 14-day quarantine because of the new mask mandate.

CCSD’s chief operating officer Jeff Borowy says there is no blanket quarantining and that when positive cases come up, coaching staff review it with a contact tracer to try to limit how many students need to quarantine.

“We have a number of teams that do a significant amount of cohorting during practice, keeping kids separate – offensive line in one place, defensive line in another place, special teams in another place, and they’ve got a plan in place if there is a positive case on their team that would hopefully minimize the number of children that are quarantined,” Borowy said.

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