MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Several school districts are requiring masks for students and staff, despite the state’s ban on school mask mandates.
The Charleston County School District voted Monday to implement a mask requirement for all students and staff, as well as any campus visitors, according to our sister station WCBD.
Richland County also voted to require masks at its elementary schools in the county, and then an hour and a half later, the Richland One School District voted to require masks at all of its schools, including high schools, according to WLTX in Columbia.
These districts follow the lead of Columbia, who last week passed a mask requirement for elementary schools within the city. The decision set off a dispute between the city and Gov. Henry McMaster.
Proviso 1.108 in the state budget prevents schools from using state funding to require masks. Steven Benjamin, the Mayor of Columbia, said the city would use its own money to enforce the mask requirement, not state funding.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson sent a letter to Columbia last week, saying the mask requirement violates state law.
In a statement to News13 Monday, McMaster’s spokesperson said the parents are the experts of their child and should be able to make the choice for their kids. The South Carolina House Democrats asked for McMaster to call a special session to revisit the mask ban.
State Senator Luke Rankin (R-Horry County) signed a letter with three other state senators, asking for a special session to reconsider the ban.
Local governments in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee who responded to a News13 request on Monday said they were not aware of any plans to challenge McMaster.