COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The mayor of South Carolina’s capital city has issued a school mask mandate, which he says would protect vaccine-ineligible children amid the coronavirus’s resurgence.
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin made that proclamation Wednesday. The effort puts the Democrat at odds with Republican Gov. Henry McMaster as well as the GOP-controlled Legislature, which recently barred such policies for all public schools.
A new legislative measure prohibits mask mandates in South Carolina’s public schools. Benjamin says he feels he has the authority to impose one for students in his city.
Benjamin told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he plans to use city, not state, funds to provide masks in the city’s elementary and middle schools.