Nashville, TN

Gov. Lee announced executive order giving parents ability to opt out of school mask mandates

Kelleigh Michanichou

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NASHVILLE, TN - Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee made an announcement on Executive Order 84 Monday, Aug. 16, allowing parents to opt their children out of a local mask obligation imposed by a school or health board.

Gov. Lee's announcement started with him sending sympathy to Afghans and the American soldiers who have fought there. According to the governor, many Tennesseans have served in Afghanistan to maintain stability in the area.

The governor addressed how the hospitals were facing a challenge due to the surge of Covid-19 cases. Patients were building up at the hospitals.

He went on to say that vaccines were the most critical tool that we have to fight the pandemic. Gov. Lee urged Tennesseans who have not been vaccinated to speak with their doctor about getting the vaccination dose.

Gov. Lee acknowledged the frustrations that many people were experiencing. The fear of COVID and its effects on their family, fear of government interference, and frustration over anything from masks to information that is always changing.

K-12 schools are seeing some of the biggest controversy on the subject of mask mandates.

Gov. Lee believes that local decision-making is essential, but at the end of the day it is the parents' right to decide on problems concerning their child's health and well-being.

"No one cares more about the health and well-being of a child than a parent. I am signing an executive order today that allows parents to opt their children out of a school mask mandate if either a school board or health board enacts one over a district," He said.

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