DORCHESTER, S.C. (WCBD) – Dorchester School District Two (DD2) Board members on Monday decided to postpone making a decision on whether to require face coverings in schools, despite surveys showing support among parents and staff.
The district cited “a decrease in the number of COVID cases diagnosed and quarantined over the past several weeks,” as one reason for not requiring face coverings.
DD2 also listed the following as support for not implementing a face covering requirement:
- Enforcement of mask wearing would present a challenge for school staff
- Requirement for dual modality for teachers to instruct in person as well as students staying at home due to face covering requirement would present a hardship for teachers
- Legal challenges connected to state Budget Proviso 1.108 prohibiting use of district budgeted funds to enforce face covering requirements
- The need for additional security at schools to prevent disruption of school operations
- Additional record keeping and financial burden as it is difficult to separate funds for this purpose due to comingling of funds
- Fund balance reserves must be used for all enforcement concerns per requirements of the state budget Proviso 1.108
- Potential childcare concerns for young students at home due to refusal to wear a mask
- Enforcement concerns at sporting or extracurricular events
- As reported by the State Department of Education, there are only 7 school districts in South Carolina currently under a mask mandate
The decision was made despite a survey conducted by a third party which found that of the 72% of parents surveyed supported mask requirements, as well as 75% of staff surveyed.