BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Several parents are protesting the Berkeley County School District’s lack of face mask mandate as cases of COVID-19 surge within the community.
About two dozen parents gathered outside the district’s office in Moncks Corner on Monday to protest what they call is an absence of a mask mandate and to protect all students and keep the schools open.
Organizers of the event say Berkeley County parents and community leaders “are tired of the divisive politicization around mask mandates.”
“There is a large contingent of people who express their opinions about “freedoms” and it is time for the others in the community to make their voices heard as well,” said organizers.
They hope Monday’s peaceful protest will allow the district’s superintendent and school board members to “feel the frustration of the community” and compel them to act.
The grandmother of a Nexton Elementary School student said her granddaughter was put in quarantine on the second day of school because a girl sitting next to her on the first day of classes had tested positive.
“All summer long, we protected our gran and did everything we were supposed to do. She gets in school one day – one day – and now she’s got to be quarantined,” she said.
One of the organizers of Monday’s protest said he became involved after talking to the mother of a child in the district.
“Her child contracted COVID when he was one of three children at orientation with a mask on right and now her whole family has It, which impacts her family,” they said.
Protesters also say they are concerned because of three COVID-related deaths at neighboring Dorchester School District 2.
Meanwhile, Tom Hamilton, who happened to walk by the protest, said he does not support a mask mandate.
“I believe in choice,” he said. “If a parent wants to send a child to school with a mask that’s great if they don’t that’s great as well. It’s a parent’s choice, that’s my opinion.”
When asked about the protest, officials with the Berkeley County School District sent us the following:
“No school district, or any of its schools, may use any funds appropriated or authorized pursuant to this act to require that its students and/or employees wear a facemask at any of its educational facilities.”
Last week, we reported some high schools in Berkeley County were moving to eat their lunches in classrooms due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.