South Carolina – South Carolina school district have the full power to implement mask mandate as judge temporarily blocked the law that bans mask mandate in schools.
The most recent decision from the judge comes after the ACLU of South Carolina filed a lawsuit on behalf of two disability advocacy organizations and nine South Carolina parents of children with disabilities, including asthma and autism.
The lawsuit claimed the mask mandate violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination based on disability, Live 5 News reported.
According to the Judge Mary Geiger Lewis, the law that bans masks mandates in schools directly discriminates the children with disabilities.
“This is not a close call. The General Assembly’s COVID measures disallowing school districts from mandating masks, as found in Proviso 1.108, discriminates against children with disabilities,” Lewis said.
ACLU lawyers claimed that parents who have children with disabilities have to chose between their children’s health or education since the school districts are not allowed to implement mask mandate meaning that their children are directly exposed to the virus putting their lives at risk.
Lewis said in her order that the state’s proviso is a “barrier” for students with disabilities wishing to gain the same education as those children without disabilities, and compared the issue to ramps being added to schools so those with mobility-related disabilities could access a public education.
“Today, a mask mandate works as a sort of ramp to allow children with disabilities access to their schools,” Lewis said. “Thus, the same legal authority requiring schools to have ramps requires that school districts have the option to compel people to wear masks at school.”
As soon as the information was announced, Gov. McMaster’s spokesperson Brian Symmes said in a statement that the judge ruling is unlawful and they are about to take legal measures against. This is what he said:
“The governor strongly disagrees with the court’s decision and will defend a parent’s right to decide what’s best for their children up to the United States Supreme Court, if necessary,” Symmes said on Tuesday night.
Charleston County School District meanwhile enforces the mask mandate in school despite the state law that bans mask mandates in schools.