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Charleston County School District, South Carolina: Several students sent home for not wearing masks

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Fifteen students at Thomas C. Cario Middle School in the Charleston County School District (CCSD) will continue their distance learning until at least Oct. 15 – when administrators will reconsider the mask policy, said the CNN district spokesperson Andy Pruitt.

In addition, students from other schools were also sent home, although Pruitt did not say how many.

Some parents rallied outside the middle school to protest students being sent home for failing to meet the mask requirement, he said.

The school district board of directors voted last week to require everyone to wear a face covering in all schools and CCSD properties as well as on school transportation. The district has about 49,000 students in 88 schools and specialty programs, according to the district’s website.

“It remains our collective opinion that wearing face masks in school is an essential health and safety measure. This simple act by each of us will help prevent serious illness or death from COVID and reduce the number students forced to quarantine, “he added. Board of Directors said at the time of its vote.

The policy went into effect on September 20, but it wasn’t fully implemented until Wednesday.

With the prevalence of the highly contagious variant of the Delta coronavirus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended in July that students in kindergarten to grade 12 wear masks at school. The American Academy of Pediatrics has also decided to recommend masks in schools for all people over 2 years of age.
Some Charleston County students were sent home on September 22 for failing to comply with the school district's new mask requirement, prompting some parents to protest the move.

Mask warrants in schools have become a polarizing issue – especially in states like Texas and Florida, where legal battles have taken place between local and state authorities.

In addition, the US Department of Education announced last month that it had sent letters to public school officials in five states – Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah – informing them of new investigations directed for Whether their state mask restrictions prevented students with disabilities from “safely returning to face-to-face teaching, in violation of federal law.”
US Department of Education opens investigation into Texas ban on school mask warrants

The level of transmission of Covid-19 in South Carolina is high, according to the CDC, which defines this category as having 100 or more cases per 100,000 people or a positivity rate of 10% or more over a 7-day period.

Charleston County has fully vaccinated 63.1% of its total eligible population, according to the CDC.

CNN’s Liz Stark contributed to this report.


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