Gov. McMaster won’t allow SC schools to require masks, despite American Academy of Pediatrics’ new recommendations

South Carolina News

FILE – In this July 29, 2020 file photo, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster speaks during a COVID-19 briefing as state epidemiologist Linda Bell, left, looks on, in West Columbia, S.C. McMaster ended South Carolina’s ongoing pandemic-related state of emergency on Monday, June 7, 2021. The Republican said during a news conference that the coronavirus situation in the state had improved to the point that it was no longer necessary. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – A Spokesperson for Governor Henry McMaster on Monday told News 2 that the governor “remains steadfastly committed” to allowing parents to decide whether their children will wear masks in schools, despite new guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

The AAP recommendations released Monday suggest “all students older than two years and all school staff should wear face masks at school (unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit use” during the upcoming school year.

However, the South Carolina Legislature’s ‘Mask Mandate Prohibition’ proviso, which was signed into law by McMaster and went into effect July 1, stipulates that “no school district, or any of its schools, may use any fund appropriated or authorized pursuant to this act to require that its students and/or employees wear a facemask at any of its education facilities.”

When asked if the new recommendation would have any impact on the policy, a spokesperson for McMaster provided the following statement:

“Governor McMaster wholeheartedly believes that a child’s use of a mask in school is something that should be decided only by the student’s parents, and nobody else. That’s why he took action in May to make sure every parent in the state was empowered to decide whether their child wears a mask in a school setting. The governor remains steadfastly committed to that principle.”

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