Clarendon 4 School District Trustees Pass Resolution Urging SC General Assembly to Repeal State Provision

The Clarendon School District 4 board of directors passed a resolution on Monday evening urging the state general assembly to repeal the state budget provision that bans mask mandates in schools.

In a 6: 1 vote, with MP John Hardy voting against the motion, school board members agreed to sign a resolution imploring the General Assembly to reconvene and rescind Clause 1.108 of the new budget of the State which was adopted this summer. The measure prevents schools from using state money to require students or employees to wear face coverings in school buildings. If they go against the measure, districts may risk losing their funding.

Clarendon 4 administrators want to tackle the controversial clause that bans mask warrants in K-12 schools to reduce COVID-19 exposure for students and employees.

District superintendent Angela Bain said this provision needed to be changed due to the evolution of the pandemic in recent months. Continuing outbreaks of coronavirus cases have increased since this summer, when COVID-19 cases averaged 150 new cases per day. Today, Palmetto State averages about 5,000 new cases a day, and the rising number of deaths is straining healthcare professionals. Bain said that with these alarming new numbers, it’s time to send a message to the state’s General Assembly that they are pushing back the conditional clause.

As of Friday, September 17, the district had a total of 131 students and 28 staff who tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in the quarantine of 657 students and 26 staff since starting school in mid-August. .

Clarendon 4 will join other school districts in Palmetto State, including the Sumter School District and Florence School District 3, which passed a similar resolution. Board members are scheduled to send the resolution to the state’s Department of Education on Tuesday, and it will travel to the General Assembly and finally Gov. Henry McMaster’s office. School officials “strongly encourage” students and staff to wear masks in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health agency guidelines.

Attempts to reach Hardy regarding his opposition to the resolution were made but were unsuccessful.

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