Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Dr. Adrienne Battle on Wednesday announced she will ask members of the school board to implement a universal mask mandate.
According to Battle, the mandate would require all students, seemingly regardless of their vaccination status, to wear a mask indoors and on school buses.
“As a result of the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases and spread of the delta variant, the recommendations from the CDC and AAP, along with the Mayor’s new mask mandate for Metro facilities, it would be my recommendation to the Board that we adopt a universal mask policy, indoors and on buses, for the start of the 2021-22 school year in order to keep our student, staff, and their families as safe as possible,” Battle said in a statement.
Battle’s request will be debated at an upcoming Board of Education meeting on Thursday at 11 a.m. with the goal to discuss the district’s virus protocols.
When announcing her support for the new regulations, Battle pointed blame to unvaccinated individuals in the community for the need to implement a new mandate.
“I wish that more Americans had taken advantage of the life-saving vaccine that has been available to them, so that the pandemic would be less of a factor in the lives of our students and a universal mask mandate would not be necessary. I’m hopeful that more community members will get the vaccine so that we can mitigate the spread of the virus and return to a normal school setting,” she continued.
However, state House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) spoke out against the potential move.
“Schools if you want to shut down, if you want to require a mask, if you want to segregate kids based on who’s vaccinated or not, I’m going to ask the governor for a special session. And we’re going to go in and we’re going to make some changes, and that may be going in a direction called school choice,” he said Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy.
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