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

South Carolina health and education officials say despite Gov. Henry McMaster's calls to end...
South Carolina health and education officials say despite Gov. Henry McMaster's calls to end face mask requirements, residents should "stay the course" and continue wearing face coverings.(Storyblocks)
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 5:29 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is addressing issues about masks in schools, local mask mandates and vaccine passports.

He issued an executive order on Tuesday that empowers parents to decide whether their children should wear masks in schools.

The governor has directed the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to team up with the state’s Department of Education to develop and distribute a form that a parent or legal guardian can sign in order to opt their children out of mask requirements in public schools.

“With every adult in our state having the opportunity to receive a vaccine, it goes against all logic to continue to force our children – especially our youngest children – to wear masks against their parents’ wishes. Whether a child wears a mask in school is a decision that should be left only to a student’s parents,” McMaster said.

The executive order also prohibits any county or local government from relying on prior orders or state of emergency to enforce mask mandates.

“Everybody knows what we need to do to stay safe – including wearing a mask if you’re at risk of exposing others – but we must move past the time of governments dictating when and where South Carolinians are required to wear a mask,” McMaster stated.

The order also prohibits any state agencies or local governments from requiring “vaccine passports.” The governor has stated that vaccine passports have no place in South Carolina and called the idea “un-American to its core.”

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