CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The debate over masks in schools is being taken to a new level after a federal judge, Mary Geiger Lewis, blocked South Carolina’s ban on mask mandates implemented by school districts.
Governor Henry McMaster and S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson have both said they will be challenging the ruling.
Meanwhile, closer to home, Lowcountry parents have been vocal about the decision on social media. News 2 reached out to a few parents in the area to get their reactions.
One Lowcountry mom, and registered nurse, Kathy Moore, has a son in CCSD. Moore says she is pleased with the court’s ruling and that masks in schools are in the best interest of public health.
Moore’s child learned virtually during the 2020-2021 school year for health and safety reasons. When deciding whether or not to send her son back to the classroom, Moore did her research and talked to other health professionals.
“I looked at the numbers last year and found that schools with mask policies really did well with COVID numbers,” explained Moore.
She said she would like to see masks remain in schools for the foreseeable future, at least until this most recent COVID-19 spike is deemed under control by public health officials.
“Our goal is really to keep our kids in as normal an environment as possible and masks help us do that,” said Moore.
Another Lowcountry mom is speaking out and expressing frustration with the judge’s block. She believes the decision to send a child to school with a mask on should be a parent’s decision.
“Judge Lewis absolutely slapped every parent in the state of South Carolina in the face,” said Jessica Zeigler, a Charleston County mom.
Zeigler has a six-year-old daughter in the CCSD school system. One day, her little girl came home excited about a new friend at school, but Zeigler said what her daughter told her came as a shock.
“She said ‘well she wears a pink mask. So I don’t really know what her face looks like,'” described Zeigler. “That is extremely disturbing. I don’t want my child to not know who her friends are because she can’t see their faces.”
Zeigler is also worried about the psychological and emotional damages she believes masks could bring to children as many young kids are still learning crucial skills like social cues.
“When her teacher wears a mask, or when she’s wearing a mask, that learning is absolutely inhibited and as adults, we forget that.”
Several parents have told News 2 that they want what is best for their kids.
As state leaders challenge the latest ruling, school districts can still enforce mask mandates.
This is a developing story, check counton2.come for updates.