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S.C. Supreme Court rules ban on mask mandates in schools is constitutional

Proviso 1.108 prohibits the use of funds appropriated or authorized by the 2021-2022 Appropriations Act to announce or enforce a mask mandate.
Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 11:07 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV/WIS) - The South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled that the ban on mask mandates in schools is constitutional.

The ruling also states: “As we held in City of Columbia, Proviso 1.108 prohibits the School District from using funds appropriated or authorized under the 2021-2022 Appropriations Act to announce or enforce a mask mandate in its K-12 schools. We do not reject the possibility that other funds might be used to do so.”

Tuesday night, the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina issued a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the state’s budget proviso, meaning both state and local districts are not allowed to stop a school or school district from requiring masks.

Tuesday’s federal ruling still stands meaning schools still have the right to choose if they want to mandate masks or not, according to the South Carolina Department of Education.

State Education Superintendent Molly Spearman released a letter to the districts Wednesday morning saying ...”school districts now have the discretionary authority to require masks.”

“In light of the Court’s ruling, the SCDE [South Carolina Department of Education] strongly suggests schools and districts consult with their legal counsel on actionable steps that may need to be taken to make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities under these federal laws,” Spearman said in a memo to district superintendents Wednesday.

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