Newberry County School Board punts on mask mandate decision

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 10:41 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2021 at 11:27 PM EDT
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NEWBERRY, S.C. (WIS) - The Newberry County School board took input on a 30-day mask mandate for the district but did not make a final call Monday night.

After almost three hours and 47 speakers, the board voted to wait on the State Supreme Court’s ruling on a challenge to a rule in South Carolina’s state budget.

Richland School District 2 petitioned the court for an injunction on a part of the state budget that does not allow districts to use state funds to enforce a mask mandate.

READ: Here are the temporary SC laws related to COVID-19, schools, masks and vaccines

The court will be hearing the Richland 2 case and a case on the City of Columbia’s mask ordinance for schools Tuesday morning.

The board held the meeting in the Newberry County High School auditorium, which had limited capacity for social distancing guidelines.

This comes after the board initially approved the measure at its Aug. 23 meeting, but then rescinded it over the item’s absence from the agenda.


Passionate opponents and proponents of the mandate included parents, teachers, and health professionals.

The legality of any mandate was a theme among opponents throughout the night.

Board Chair Lucy Meetze ultimately suggested the idea of tabling the issue.

The timeline of the Supreme Court verdict on the mask mandate cases is unclear.

There was discussion of another Newberry County school board meeting in the aftermath of the court’s decision to make a decision on the matter.

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