Atlanta defies Gov. Kemp's declaration of no school mask mandate

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Atlanta Public Schools will require students and staff to wear face masks this coming year after Gov. Brian Kemp declared the state would not have mask mandates for children.

"We’re not going to have a mask mandate for our kids," Kemp said in May. "Our teachers have had the ability to get vaccinated. It certainly doesn’t keep anyone from wearing a mask."

SCHOOL BOARD MEETING GETS HEATED AS PARENTS DEMAND MASK POLICY BE DROPPED

His executive order on the matter, however, fell short of outright banning such mandates in schools.

Kemp’s order instead said his coronavirus emergency declaration "does not include the authority for local school districts to rely on the Public Health State of Emergency as a basis for requiring students or workers to wear a face covering" on school property.

The order means school districts could not claim authority that such mask mandates came from the governor, which Atlanta is now capitalizing on in its updated requirement for students returning to the classroom.

"Consistent and correct use of mask-wearing has been shown to reduce the spread of COVID-19," Atlanta Public Schools said in a statement released Thursday.

School officials said the rise of the delta variant coupled with students under the age of 12 not being eligible to receive a COVID vaccine motivated them to enforce mask wearing.

FLORIDA 10-YEAR-OLD ASKS SCHOOL BOARD TO LIFT MASK MANDATE IN VIRAL VIDEO

Kemp's office told Fox News in response to Atlanta's updated requirement that his "previous executive orders barred schools from using our state of emergency declaration to mandate masks."

"Hypothetically, they could still make masks part of their school dress code. Governor Kemp has consistently advocated for local control and ultimately does not believe that it is the state government’s job to tell local school districts what to put in their individual dress codes," the statement continued.

"That being said, Governor Kemp is clear that he does not believe masks are necessary or beneficial for children returning to school."

Atlanta isn’t alone in the new requirement and joins DeKalb and Clayton counties in requiring masks for their students and school staff.

UTAH ANTI-MASK PROTESTERS WHO DERAILED SCHOOL BOARD MEETING MAY FACE CHARGES, DISTRICT SAYS

Atlanta’s requirement also comes after The American Academy of Pediatrics updated its mask guidance this week to recommend that all students over the age of 2 wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on children and the coronavirus states "most children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or have no symptoms at all," while noting that "some children can get severely ill from COVID-19."

The CDC recommends that masks "be worn indoors by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting