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Governor McMaster’s mask comments spark another debate about masks in schools

Updated: Apr. 30, 2021 at 5:45 PM EDT
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FORT MILL, S.C. (WBTV) -There is renewed debate over masks and whether they are still needed in schools.

Governor Henry McMaster says it ridiculous that school districts should mandate them.

”It’s the parents’ choice; it’s no longer the school districts choice,” said McMaster.

The State Department of Education actually requires school districts to have students and visitors use masks within the schools and on buses. They say it will stay that way until the state’s health agency and Centers for Disease Control says otherwise. However, the Governor’s comments are still sparking debate.

”It is ridiculous to require the school children to wear the mask,” he said.

”It keeps the kids safe,” said Sarah Daniel, a mom wanting to keep the masks.

”Take the masks off,” said Melissa Maynard, a mom wanting to ditch them.

Sarah Daniel’s daughter is immunocompromised. For her, this issue is not just about mask or no mask, she says it’s about her child surviving COVID. Daniel says her daughter also has a special curriculum that she needs to be in school to get. There is no virtual option for her.

”Those kids need to be protected. Not only the small ones, the immune compromised ones, but the older ones,” said Daniel.

Melissa Maynard’s kids got off the bus with masks in their backpack. They wore them on the bus, which is required by the Fort Mill School District. She worries they will become depressed and want to leave the place helping them to learn. She also says school is when they are in the beginning of learning their identity. With the masks, she feels it is hard to accomplish that. When one of her sons got off the bus, he complained about not being able to breathe in the mask.

”I don’t want my kids to feel trapped. I don’t like that. I don’t want my kids to feel when they go to school they aren’t in the safe place,” said Maynard.

The Fort Mill School district says it is keeping masks on until the “all clear” from health officials. It a position that almost led Daniel to tears.

”I think I cried,” said Daniel. “I think I cried when I saw that because it stood up for my child.”

However, Maynard’s still holding out hope the choice will eventually be hers. She thinks, that way, everyone gets their way.

”I’m not going to force you to do anything. I’m not gonna force your child to do anything. If it’s your personal choice to keep wearing a mask and have your child wear one then by all means,” said Maynard.

But at the end of the day, both are hoping to convince the other to see it their way.

”We’re seeing other states that didn’t have mask mandates and they are doing just fine. I just wish people wouldn’t be not so closed minded maybe,” said Maynard.

“If we maintained the distance, wore the masks, and washed the hands and believed in science we would be able to get to the place where we wouldn’t have to wear the masks anymore,” said Daniel.

WBTV reached out to Governor’s McMaster’s office for an additional interview. His spokesperson told us he did not have time to do an interview today.

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