Nashville Mayor John Cooper Backs School Defiance of Governor Lee’s Mask Opt-Out Executive Order

John Cooper


Nashville Mayor John Cooper backs school defiance of Governor Lee’s (R) executive order allowing parents to opt their kids out of mask mandates. Cooper called the order “disappointing.” The order follows the Nashville Metro Public Schools (MNPS) board voting to mandate masks in classrooms less than two weeks ago. As reported by The Tennessee Star, over 1,000 individuals signed a letter asking the Nashville Metro Public Schools to instate a mask mandate for the 2021 school year.

The order is only in effect until October 5, however. As reported by FOX 17, Cooper sent a statement regarding the order, claiming masks are the “best tool” to keep children safe in classrooms.

Cooper said, “Today’s decision is disappointing, as it undermines a long-held trust that local governments know what’s best for their communities. We made a critical return to in-person learning, only to lose our best tool for keeping schools open and children safe. With our hospitals already under tremendous stress, we are now on a path to more outbreaks, more quarantines, and greater learning loss.”

The executive order states, “a student’s parent or guardian shall have the right to opt out of any order or requirement for a student in kindergarten through twelfth-grade to wear a face covering at school, on a school bus, or at school functions.”

Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Dr. Adrienne Battle also issued a statement about the executive order, saying, “Metro Schools will continue to require face masks” despite the order from Lee.

Battle’s statement reads:

The Metro Nashville Board of Education and I are charged with educating our students and with keeping them safe. Universal masking policies, during the pandemic, are a key mitigation strategy to do just that. To allow anyone to opt out of these policies for any reason, other than legitimate medical need, would make them ineffective and would require more students to be quarantined and kept out of the classroom.

The Governor’s executive order was released without prior notice to school districts for review or comment. As such, Metro Schools will continue to require face masks, pursuant to the rules adopted by the Board, as we further review this order and explore all options available to the district to best protect the health of our students, teachers, and staff.

Lee claimed the Tennessee Department of Health assisted in advising him to make this decision.

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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].







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17 Thoughts to “Nashville Mayor John Cooper Backs School Defiance of Governor Lee’s Mask Opt-Out Executive Order”

  1. When Cooper defies Lee’s order, it ensures we defy his order. Executive orders aren’t worth the paper they are written on. No law, not illegal.

  2. Cannoneer2

    Is Bill Lee going to “defy” the federal government when they rule against his Executive Order?

  3. Kalee

    Gov Lee does not have the authority to “allow” parents to do anything concerning their own children. The parents already have that power. It is God-given, not governor-given.

    If the governor gives parents authority over their own children, the governor can take it away, right?

    Call a special session of the General Assembly to protect and enforce what God already gave us. This is why government exists.

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” -Benjamin Franklin

    1. Very well said. My thoughts exactly

    2. Chris

      I agree with you.

      We need a Governor for all 95 counties, not just for 90 of them.

      The Executive Order was a half loaf.

      I’m also disappointed that the Senate did not join in the Speaker’s request for a well-need special legislative session.

      I voted for the Governor 3 years ago because he was the only adult in the room, but I will not vote to reelect hm next year.

  4. JB Taylor

    The nashville mayor is a a Communist. He needs to be removed from office.

  5. Unreal how dumb these people really are. The lack of oxygen to the brain causes one to turn blue.

  6. Steve Allen

    At this point I don’t believe ANYTHING the democratically controlled government, the medical industry, or the fear porn broadcasting MSM says. And then there’s that deranged bumbling fool Biden. It will be a miracle if the communist Chinese don’t invade our country before 2022.

    Our local hospital is claiming that the majority of patients in their hospital with covid are unvaccinated. Yet a study recently conducted in MA shows that 73% of covid hospitalizations had already been vaccinated.
    The democratic party and their affiliates only goal is to destroy America.

  7. Russ Crouch

    As usual it is force free people NOT to be free, it is the liberal way. The Governor Lee should use his power to show these school boards who they work for, not let them just do whatever they want.

  8. rick

    Cooper if your idiot Democrat selected president had not allowed all of the infected illegals over the border we would not have the problem. There is no science to back up your stupid mandate. Cooper as soon as we get rid of you and your commie brother there will be two less problems. I saw elementary children outside on a playground yesterday at a Metro school with their mask on, probably third graders, pitiful. OUTSIDE WITH A MASK , ignorant stupid mayor.

  9. Mark Knofler

    Nah Commie Cooper, YOU”RE the disappointment! You continue to fleece us, where’s the money going? You kept Metro Employee’s on the payroll all through the Pandemic, even overpaid Public Works. Speaking of Public Works, how ’bout you get Public Works to start doing their job and pick the trash up around the city. #TurnNashvilleRed

  10. Kevin

    Cooper is playing “political chicken”! We’ll see who flinches first, the State (aka, Lee, McNally & Sexton) or Lil Johnny Cooper. And we’re gonna see if we have real Republicans running this State, or not. My guess is the later.

    A legislative “special session”, consisting of one day, is in order. A one simple Bill, stating that any form of government does NOT have the power or the authority to dictate to parents whether their kids wear masks or not!

    If Cooper resists, locked him up!

  11. LM

    Of course he is disappointed. He and his commie minions don’t get to control people’s lives

  12. Horatio Bunce

    There is nothing for the school systems to “defy” in Bill Lee’s executive order. He actually legitimized them as new arbiters of medical treatment decisions, and “allowed” parents to say no.

    When will Michelle Fiscus tell local school boards to “stay in their lane” and leave the medical decisions to licensed professionals?

    Just wait until the flu shot rollout ramp of “covid cases” begins like it did last September, since even the CDC now admits the PCR test goes “covid” positive for flu. Another lockdown/power grab inbound.

    1. 83ragtop50

      Horatio – You are exactly correct. Mr. Lee (I refuse to call him governor) just gave the various teapot tyrants the go ahead to declare mask mandates. The guy is nothing more than a wimp in way over his head. An executive order prohibiting mask mandates would not have kept anyone from wearing a mask. The guy is a total loser.

  13. Some Dude

    The Governor’s choice of “Do, OR Don’t”, is freedom of choice. Do it, or do not do it = Freedom. Therefore, this Democrat mayor is officially opposed to freedom of choice. At best, This is political blustering. At worst, this is a mayor standing for removing his people’s freedom of choice, and forcing compliance to ONLY HIS political party’s will.

    This idiot mayor of a crime ridden city is waving his party’s flag. Scarily, John Cooper’s Democrat Party flag is beginning to cast the EXACT same shadows as that of a 10,000 year old religious symbol, ruined by Germany in 1939.

    — “All tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force.”, George Orwell. —

    PS: Legalize Freedom.

  14. rick

    The worst mayor in the history of Nashville and his puppet superintendent Battle, both should be arrested, if they do not comply or state funding should be removed. Try to keep a mask on a first or second grader, who is going to wipe their nose, certainly not our union controlled teachers . Metro schools are a complete failure, its a shame some people cannot place their child in a private school like MBA, as the mayor. He is such a hypocrite and a jerk. Just seeing his picture is disgusting! Elect a democrat and this is what you get, a complete idiot.