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Warren Schools Make Mask Recommendation Due To Executive Order

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Warren Schools Make Mask Recommendation Due To Executive Order

The Warren County School Board has decided to go with a mask recommendation, instead of a mandate.

Director of Schools Grant Swallows said the system was preparing for a mandate when it was triggered by a county COVID rate of 26 percent earlier this month. However, he said that rates dropped below that percentage and then the Governors’s executive order came down.

Swallows said with the ability for parents to opt-out, he does not believe even future mandates have a way of being enforced.

“I think the ones that will wear it are the ones that are wearing it currently and the ones that are going to opt out are the ones that are not wearing it currently,” Swallows said. “So at the end of the day, I don’t see that changing. I think frankly, school systems are handcuffed at this point to have to follow what we follow.”

Swallows said that cases among students are increasing.

Swallows said the system will continue recommending and educating students on how masks help. He said this is one of the few ways to keep schools open and protect the over 6,000 students.

“There’s some bigger systems that are saying, ‘well, we’re just going to enforce ours,’ but ultimately at the end of the day they have a little bit more leeway when it comes to being able to deal with the repercussions that come from that than some of our smaller systems are able to do,” Swallows said. “So we are choosing to educate our folks and hope that they’ll listen because we are certainly seeing a rise in cases among our students.”

Swallows said that unless Governor Lee’s executive order is revoked, there’s little the system can do even if cases climb above 26 percent. He said the mask recommendation is across the board for students and staff.


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