On Monday in South Carolina, a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled to keep mask mandates in specific school districts. The ruling allows for students with disabilities to continue attending school, according to the ACLU of South Carolina.
The Virginia order divided school districts across the state. Some opted to make masks for children optional, as the governor’s order directs. Others decided to keep their rules requiring masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Chesterfield County’s School Board voted last week to make masks optional, prompting some parents to keep their children home and some teachers to call in sick. In the capital region, masks are also now optional in Hanover County schools, but required in Richmond and Henrico schools.
Lindsey Dougherty, a Chesterfield parent mentioned in the lawsuit, has a 10-year-old son who has asthma, an autoimmune disorder and a Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder associated with Streptococcus (PANDAS).
Her son, a fifth-grader at Enon Elementary, is currently not attending school and will stay home until a universal mask mandate is back in school. His younger sister, who also attends Enon Elementary, was pulled out of school for the safety of her brother.
Without the mask mandate, Dougherty’s son is at risk of contracting and becoming “seriously ill” from COVID-19, according to the suit.
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