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Mask controversy continues in schools

By Meg Dickens
Staff Writer

On April 27, Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order 80, which takes away the right for county mayors to issue mask mandates and updates related legislation. Although this will reduce or remove regulations in many sects, the Johnson County School System is not one. At least it is not one yet. Whether or not this will be the case will be decided on Thursday, May 13 through the Johnson County School Board’s agenda item 13.

After Governor Lee’s announcement, Jo. Co. Schools released the following statement: “In regards to the recent announcement by the Governor today concerning masks, please know this does NOT impact the school system. We are still required to wear masks under our approved CLP and critical infrastructure plan. The only way this can legally change is for the school board to make a revision to our current CLP plan at the next board meeting.”

Some Johnson Countians seemed displeased by this turn of events. A group gathered online to discuss the matter. What started as a request for information spiraled into a debate that triggered digital moderators to turn off commenting capabilities.

“I think every parent with children in our system should show up and stop this ridiculous mask mandate,” said subject-starter Jim Speed. “Parents, your children need you to stand up for them because they aren’t allowed a voice in this. They are just paying the consequences of their (school’s) decisions.”

The Johnson County School Board will meet at the boardroom located in Central Office at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 13. Anyone who would like to attend can do so. Others can watch the meeting live or watch the archive at their convenience on the Johnson County Schools TN Video YouTube channel. Stream reminders are available to anyone with a YouTube account.

Visit jocoed.net to find out more about Johnson County Schools. Learn more about Executive Order 80 and its implications at tn.gov or in our previous article titled “Lee Ends Public Health Orders.” Keep an eye out for more information on the Johnson County School Board’s decision on mandated mask wearing.