As you know, yesterday Governor McMaster issued an executive order, Executive Order 2021-23, which allows parents to sign a form to opt their students out of wearing a mask at school. The Governor’s Order still requires face coverings for students and staff on school buses (President’s Executive Order No. 13998).
The governor asked DHEC and the South Carolina Department of Education to develop and distribute a standardized opt-out form. Today, DHEC shared with us the face mask opt-out form that parents/guardians must use, unaltered, to give parental or legal guardian consent for their student to opt-out of wearing a mask at school.
If you have already sent a note, we apologize. But, DHEC states that in order to be valid, the form must be completed without change by the parent or guardian (or student, if age 18 or older). If you have two children, you will fill out two forms and receive two different links to the form — one for each school.
Lexington County School District One will still require all staff and visitors to wear masks on a school bus or campus.
DHEC continues to encourage the use of face masks. In fact, when they sent the form, they said, “Wearing face masks and taking other precautions are important disease prevention methods that protect not only the person wearing the mask but also those around them from COVID-19. DHEC continues to follow federal CDC guidance, backed by multiple research studies, that masks are an effective and essential tool for protecting the health of all South Carolinians during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
If you have concerns or questions about your child wearing a mask or mask-wearing at your child’s school, please reach out to your child’s principal or assistant principal. They can help you with your questions about other accommodations, etc.