District Policy Not Followed in Rutherford County Schools’ COVID-19 Mask Policy, Group Says

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An attorney for Rutherford County Schools (RCS) reportedly said there is no record of anyone filing a mask policy through a policy committee or the director of schools.

This, according to a statement that the group Rutherford Students First emailed to The Tennessee Star on Monday.

This step in the process, the group’s statement went on to say, is necessary before bringing any policy before the public or enacting any RCS policy changes. Because the proper process was not followed, the mask policy changes discussed in RCS Board meetings last week must be suspended, the press release added.

“Rutherford Students First Co-Founder, Chris Littleton, addressed the issue of transparency and process with the Board in both the September 7 and September 9 Board meetings, asking that the proposed policy be provided prior to public discussion. The Board chose to ignore their own rules, so it now falls upon RCS to suspend the current policy until the proper process is followed, and guarantee the process is transparent to the public,” the press release said.

Littleton said in the press release that “process and transparency are vital in the creation of any law or public policy.”

“No government entity can assume authority which it does not possess, nor can it arbitrarily create new rules without following the proper process,” Littleton said.

“To do otherwise is a gross abuse of public trust.”

A group of Rutherford County parents seethed last month after Rutherford County Director of Schools Bill C. Spurlock decided to unilaterally remove non-symptomatic and non-COVID-19 positive students from schools.

The parents said Spurlock did this without consulting with members of the Rutherford County School (RCS) Board. RCS Board members had previously approved a procedure that would have prevented COVID-19-free or symptom-free students and staff from quarantine, parents said.

The parents belong to Rutherford Students First.

Members formed the group this year, according to their website. They said they want to end the practice of school officials putting political agendas before students’ best interests.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

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