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Federal appeals court keeps South Carolina’s ban on school mask mandates on hold

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 4:27 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WMBF) – South Carolina districts can continue to require face coverings to protect against the coronavirus in state’s schools under an appellate court’s decision this week.

On Tuesday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied state Attorney General Alan Wilson’s request that South Carolina’s law prohibiting school mask mandates be allowed to take effect while a lawsuit over the COVID-19 pandemic measure moves forward.

Just last week, a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Proviso 1.108, which prohibits school districts from using state funds to enforce mask mandates.

RELATED COVERAGE | Federal judge temporarily blocks ban on mask mandates in S.C. schools

Federal judge Mary Geiger Lewis stated that the proviso discriminates against children with disabilities.

Wilson and Gov. Henry McMaster have appealed the temporary restraining order and asked the 4th Circuit to restore the ban to avoid changing mask policies with students back at school.

McMaster has stated that it should be up to parents to decide whether their children wear a mask in the classroom.

Meanwhile, the state’s superintendent and state health official have said it should be up to each school district on whether to implement mask mandates.

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