COLUMBIA, S.C. — Richland School District Two says they'll still be requiring masks for students at school, at least for now, after getting a notice from the South Carolina Department of Education.
The district sent a letter to parents Tuesday night just hours after South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order overturning all remaining mask mandates statewide, including for schools.
With schools, however, McMaster said he's asked the state's health agency, DHEC, as well as the education department to come up with a form for parents to let their children opt out of the mask rules.
Richland Two said they'd received information from the South Carolina Department of Education that because of a lack of that form, mask rules can't be optional, at least not yet. The Department of Education also cited "legal ambiguities" as a reason to hold off.
The state said they want to speak to their attorneys for legal advice before making any decision.
"Therefore at this time and until further notice, Richland Two will continue to require face coverings to be worn in accordance with Policy ADD Face Covering which is based on current guidance S.C. DHEC, CDC and the S.C. Department of Education," Richland Two said in a statement.
School districts across the state had been requiring masks for students who were in person since the start of the school year. But McMaster had said it was "ridiculous" for those rules to still be in place due to the availability of the vaccine and the drop in COVID-19 cases.