Shelby County School District still enforcing mask mandate following governor’s new executive order

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 6:19 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County School District said Monday it will continue to enforce a mask mandate following the governor’s executive latest executive order.

Executive Order 84 allows parents to opt their child out of a local mask mandate required by a school or health board.

Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray said the school district is consulting with its general counsel to explore and review the legalities of Governor Bill Lee’s executive order. He said in the meantime, in alignment with the Shelby County Health Department Order No. 24, masks will be required for all employees, students, and visitors who enter schools and district offices.

See the statement from the school district below:

“Board Members and Superintendent Dr. Joris M. Ray are consulting with our General Counsel to explore and review the legalities of Governor Lee’s Executive Order 84. In the meantime and in alignment with the Shelby County Health Department Order No. 24, masks will be required for all employees, students, and visitors who enter schools and District offices.”

Other area school districts, including Millington Schools, Lakeland School System, Arlington Community Schools, Germantown Municipal School District, and Collierville Schools, have released statements to let parents know that they will follow Executive Order 84 to allow parents to opt their children out of mask mandates. However, employees and visitors will still have to wear masks to enter their campuses.

Some of the districts released instructions to opt-out masking and other released statements on the new order.

Collierville Schools

Any parent/guardian who wishes to opt out their child out of the masking mandate issued by the Shelby County Health Department in Amended Health Order No. 24 should submit the notice by either e-mail or handwritten note to their child’s first teacher of the school day.

Germantown Municipal School District

For families that are planning to opt-out, Germantown Municipal School District is requiring the following standardized form be used to submit your opt-out intent: Germantown Municipal School District Face Covering Opt-Out

Lakeland School System

“We are aware of Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order #84 which goes into effect immediately and gives parents the right to opt out of the Shelby County Health Department’s mask mandate. Therefore, effective immediately, parents may opt out of the mask mandate currently in effect by emailing their child’s school-based teachers and/or administrators. For the purposes of contact tracing and determining exclusions from school for exposure to Covid-positive individuals, we will continue to apply the standard of a “close contact” being closer than three feet for more than 15 minutes for students who are masked, and closer than six feet for more than 15 minutes for those who are unmasked.

We are grateful for your cooperation and understanding as we try to navigate the various orders that impact our schools.”

Millington Municipal Schools

“MMSD will adhere to Governor Lee’s Executive Order No. 84 but will continue to enforce the SCHD mandate with regards to masking for teachers, staff and visitors to all MMSD school buildings.  As always, once further guidelines are released by the CDC, TDH and SCHD we will continue our efforts to educate and keep safe all students, staff & stakeholders we serve in Millington.”

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