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Charleston Co. schools says SROs are not asked to enforce mask mandate in response to governor’s letter

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 3:49 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 24, 2021 at 6:19 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials with the Charleston County School District say school resource officers are not asked to enforce the district’s mask mandate.

This comes after Gov. Henry McMaster sent a letter to the district requesting them to stop using SROs to enforce the mandate.

“Our Board Chair, Rev. Dr. Eric Mack, just received the letter from Governor McMaster this afternoon. However, I can confirm our district has not asked any of the school resource officers who serve in our schools nor any of our law enforcement partners to enforce the Board’s mask requirement,” said Andy Pruitt with CCSD.

McMaster sent the letter to Mack earlier today.

“Among other things, I am concerned that the district’s aggressive use of school resource officers may inadvertently create unhealthy, erroneous and negative stereotypes of law enforcement officers, especially among our young children,” McMaster said in the letter.

The governor said that school resource officers are usually the first law enforcement officer that a young child comes in direct contact with, and children’s “life-long” perception of law enforcement can be shaped by that initial encounter and reinforced by future encounters.

“That is why school resource officers work so hard to build positive relationships with students, on campus, in class, at sporting and extra-curricular events,” the governor said.

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