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HCS: Mask requirement will remain in place until opt-out form is created

Horry County school leader says information spreading about a ‘special board meeting’ is...
Horry County school leader says information spreading about a ‘special board meeting’ is inaccurate
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 10:50 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Students at Horry County Schools will have to keep wearing face masks in the classroom for now.

It comes after Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order on Tuesday stating it should be up to the parents to decide if their child will wear a mask in the classroom. He has directed the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to work with the South Carolina Department of Education to create an opt-out form that parents can sign to say they don’t want their child wearing a mask at school.

RELATED COVERAGE | McMaster issues executive order on masks in schools, prohibits vaccine passports

The SCDOE sent a statement to all state superintendents saying it is working with legal counsel on the issue.

“Due to the lateness of the Order, the legal ambiguities, and the absence of a DHEC opt-out form, the state face covering guidelines will remain in effect until such time as the agency has the opportunity to confer with legal counsel and provide further guidance,” according to the SCDOE statement.

According to an email from HCS, the spokesperson for the governor, Brian Symmes, said that existing rules requiring for students to wear masks may remain in place until the form for parents is developed.

Symmes added that the governor expects the form to be created quickly.

“Whether there’s a month left in the school year or it’s the beginning of the school year, he doesn’t care. He fundamentally believes that that’s a decision that should be left up to the parents,” Symmes said.

HCS has made the decision to have the mask requirement remain in place for all school buildings and buses until the parent opt-out form is created by the state.

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