Charleston Co. School District parents call for changes to mask mandate

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 2:50 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 6:57 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - About 15 parents showed up to Cario Middle School Tuesday in Mount Pleasant upset about the district’s latest mask mandate.

Under the Charleston County School District’s new mask mandate, on Monday students were allowed to stay in class if they didn’t wear a mask, but were sent home with a notice.

Students who came into school not wearing a mask Tuesday were sent to separate classrooms to learn virtually.

One parent, Miguel Figueroa, says he and some other parents met to talk to the principal but did not get to speak to her.

“They’re healthy children, they shouldn’t be separated, and why would you separate a kid to a Zoom classroom in a school that they’re supposed to go to anyway,” Figueroa said.

Any student who still does not comply with the new mask mandate starting Wednesday will be sent home to learn virtually until at least Oct. 15.

Figueroa and other CCSD parents, like Trevor Ibach, say they understand the school cannot make a decision, but they want to hear from higher officials.

“McMaster and the attorney general need to step up and do something about this today,” Ibach said. “We the people are demanding that you protect our rights and the children’s rights. So, do something about this now.”

Charleston County School District’s spokesman Andy Pruitt says most parents are going along with this mandate, and he reiterates that this mandate is in place because they feel it is the safest option in order for kids to learn in person.

“At least at this point now, if you don’t want to send your child to school wearing a mask, they will have an opportunity to do virtual learning while the mask requirement is being enforced,” Pruitt said.

Some parents said they plan to come back out to Cario Middle to argue the mandate again on Wednesday. Their goal is for their children to be able to learn in person without masks.

Mount Pleasant Police confirmed they responded to Cario Middle School where a disturbance had been reported at approximately 8:40 a.m.

The issue was being handled administratively by the Charleston County School District until a school district representative asked people on district property to leave, Inspector Don Calabrese said.

“The police department became involved when that request was not followed,” Calabrese said. “One person was issued a summons for trespassing after notice.”

He said Mount Pleasant officers also responded to Laing Middle School at approximately 8:39 a.m. where a disturbance was also reported there. He said that issue was handled by the Charleston County School District.

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