LR5 parents, staff express confusion about Richland County mask mandate

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 6:39 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 3:41 PM EDT
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IRMO, S.C. (WIS) - Parents and faculty with Lexington Richland School District Five are expressing their confusion about the Richland County mask mandate.

Last week Richland County Council instituted a mask mandate that required the use of face coverings in commercial business, as well as, schools.

On Friday, LR5 sent out a letter to parents explaining how that mandate will affect schools in their district.

Lexington Richland 5 letter to parents
Lexington Richland 5 letter to parents(Lauren Adams)

However, school administrators say the governor, the county, and the school board are all on different pages when it comes to enforcing the mandate.

RELATED STORY | Richland County Council votes to institute mask mandate

One parent said they feel like the mask mandate has caused a lot of division in the county.

“We’re caught in the middle of political theater split on party lines and it puts a lot of people in a bad place,” Jason Valek, an LR5 parent, said.

Richland County spokesperson Beverly Harris says the primary goal is safety, not fines, and the county will not go into schools and issue citations to children.

Harris said no county authority is authorized to approach a child about the ordinance and that the council hasn’t directed staff to issue fines.

LR5 says the district will not assist or impede the enforcement of the mask mandate by the Fire Marshal’s Office.

The district also says they don’t mandate masks, but strongly encourage them.

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