Speaker Cameron threatens special session to stop school mask mandates
ASHVILLE, Tennessee (WDEF) – The rise of the Delta variant of the Covid virus is hitting schools just as they are heading back for a new year.
Both the CDC and local health officials are recommending that schools go back to requiring masks.
Southern cities like Atlanta, Asheville and Savannah have taken the step, but local school systems are holding out.
On Monday, a leading Tennessee lawmaker told school systems and boards that they won’t have the final say.
House Speaker Cameron Sexton joined Governor Lee for a press conference to talk about schools and the virus.
Governor Lee pressed the point that kids need to go back to classrooms because they haven’t fared well when learning remotely.
But the House speaker was more blunt.
“I sure hope that school systems do not require a mask mandate for those students. And if they do, I’m going to ask the Governor for a special session. If they close the schools, I’m going to ask the Governor for a special session.”
The Metro Nashville Board of Education has called a special meeting this week to discuss Covid issues, including face masks.
Governor Lee and the Department of Health urge Tennesseans to get vaccinated and wear masks, but he has always balked at mask mandates.
He has made it clear that he believes parents should have the final say over their children’s Covid decisions.