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Pediatrics group says all students should wear masks at school - why that won't happen in SC

The American Academy of Pediatrics says all students over the age of two should wear a mask.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The American Academy of Pediatrics has announced all students should wear masks at school this fall, including those who are fully vaccinated but that won't happen in South Carolina.

As students across the nation prepare to go back to school in a few weeks, COVID-19 recommendations are being made on how to return to classroom safety. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics says all students older than two and all school staff should wear masks.

RELATED: All students should wear masks in school this fall, top pediatrics group says

The agency also suggests schools should require COVID-19 vaccination for in-person learning and get proof of vaccinations from students and staff, however, that won't happen in South Carolina.

South Carolina state's school are prevented by law from requiring masks, thanks to a proviso put into this year's budget.

South Carolina Department of Education spokesperson, Ryan Brown said, "Since this is state law, there will not be any changes despite what public health recommendations may be put forth from various agencies and organizations."

RELATED: Masks will not be required for students in South Carolina this fall

The state's health agency, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Education (DHEC), said they, "Strongly recommend mask-wearing for individuals who have not been fully vaccinated and are still recommending hand washing and other safety protocols for all residents."

Mother of two, Katie Free of Columbia says her child will continue to wear a mask until they are old enough to get vaccinated.

RELATED: Mom regrets not getting her 13-year-old vaccinated as delta variant surges

"I have one child that is vaccinated because she is the right age and one that is not because she is too young," said Free. "You really do need to protect the most vulnerable, including the little children."

Gov. McMaster has been clear he wants that decision it to be up to families, his spokesperson said in a statement to News 19, "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. The governor remains steadfastly committed to that principle."

RELATED: Why young people should be worried about the Delta variant, according to an expert

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