The Metro Nashville Public School (MNPS) Board’s decision to impose a COVID-19 mask mandate upon its students has prompted Tennessee Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) to, as promised, call for a special legislative session.
“We are starting discussions with House members,” Sexton told The Tennessee Star by text Friday.
Sexton said nothing else.
Sexton said Monday it’s time for students to put their virtual learning behind and walk back into their classrooms — without a COVID-19 mask mandate. And Sexton said he and other state legislators plan to restrain public school district officials who think otherwise.
Specifically, Sexton said parents alone should decide whether their children will wear masks in schools. He also said he would ask Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee for a special session if school systems mandate masks for students.
This, after new data revealed falling test scores.
MNPS board members voted Thursday to require masks by a vote of eight to one, according to the school system’s website. MNPS Director Adrienne Battle said she and other school system officials wanted this due to an “alarming rise in COVID-19 cases and spread of the Delta variant.” She also cited the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) recommendation on the matter.
Sexton on Friday told WWTN host Brian Wilson that MNPS board members’ vote did not surprise him. He said he and his staff members were drafting a letter asking Lee for a special session — a letter he will send either next week or the week after.
“You have to allow [state house] members to see what their schedule is. If you want to call a special session, and 15 people are gone in seven days then it doesn’t do you much good,” Sexton told Wilson.
“You have to give them plenty of notice so that everybody knows when it’s coming, and they can change their work schedule or whatever else might have to change so that they can be here. We want to have a full house when we go back.”
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