BREAKING: Governor signs executive order allowing parents to opt out of mask mandates

STATE NEWS — On Monday at 3 p.m. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order No. 84 allowing parents to opt out of local mask mandates at public schools.

“Student’s parents or guardian shall have the right to opt out of any order or requirement for a student in kindergarten through twelfth grade to wear a face covering at school, on a school bus, or at school functions, by affirmatively notifying in writing the local education agency or personal at the student’s school.” the Executive Order stated.

In a press conference, Governor Lee stated, “Districts will make the decisions they believe are best for their schools, but parents are the authority and will be the ultimate decision-makers for their individual child’s health and well-being.”

There are no current mask mandates in Moore County Schools.

On August 9, the Metro School Board approved COVID Protocols for the current school year. In it, school officials break down three different COVID responses phases based on total numbers of positive cases in the school system. In it, masks are listed as an optional protective measure for all students and educators but not mandated in any phase. To see the complete COVID Health and Safety Plan, click here.

In the past several weeks, statewide the number of pediatric COVID-19 cases has increased by over 600%. On July 1, there were just seven positive pediatric cases in the entire state and just one child in the ICU. As of August 15, there were 43 positive pediatric cases including 16 children in the ICU and eight kids on ventilators. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only daily newspaper in Lynchburg. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}