Knox County Schools Close for Remainder of Week, Cite Illness-Related Staffing Issues


Knox County Schools (KCS) will close for the remainder of the week due to illness-related staffing shortages, according to a release from the district.

The closure, likely connected to the rise in coronavirus cases in the state, will grant students and staff members two days off, in addition to the weekend.

“Due to staffing challenges related to illness, Knox County Schools will be closed the remainder of the week, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, and Friday, Jan 21, 2022. Central office, maintenance and custodial staff will report as scheduled,” the school district tweeted.

Across the state, coronavirus cases have increased, leading to a high amount of absent students in multiple school systems.

However, unlike a large number of districts in Tennessee, Knox County students have remained under a mask mandate imposed by federal Judge J. Ronnie Greer last year.

A lawsuit from a group of parents, backed by the Clinton-aligned group Democracy Forward, argued that the lack of a mask mandate did not protect their children from COVID-19 and limited their ability to attend in-person classes.

In a ruling, he blocked the implementation of an executive order from Governor Bill Lee that allowed parents to opt-out of mask mandates and ordered students to wear a mask.

Opponents of the mandate point to the high case numbers in both districts with mandates and without. Furthermore, critics highlight the relatively low hospitalizations and deaths among school-aged children.

“Meanwhile, thanks to @DemocracyFwd, a federal mask order remains in place at Knox County Schools. It seems virtual signaling is more important than education and social-emotional development,” Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs tweeted recently.

“In Knox County, we have 97,087 individuals ages 0-17 years old. In that demographic, 15,414 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 53 hospitalizations, 0 deaths,” Jacobs continued.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]






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2 Thoughts to “Knox County Schools Close for Remainder of Week, Cite Illness-Related Staffing Issues”

  1. william r. delzell

    If Governor Lee cared at all for Tennessee’s school children, he would have understood and respected Knoxville’s decision to close its schools to protect from the Covid, partly caused by Lee’s opposition to masks and social distancing as well as his refusal to force the big pharmaceutical companies to share their vaccine formulas with poorer countries. After all, it was U.S. tax-payer money, not private pharmaceutical money, that financed the development of and the research on these vaccine drugs. And Lee calls himself a Christian? Shame on you Lee for all the REAL Christians of this state!

  2. 83ragtop50

    How’s that controlling, unlawful mask mandate working for you, the Knoxville administration? Not so well, huh? But it sure makes you feel virtuous while literally suffocating the students. Now that is a grade of F- for sure.