Williamson County Schools Rescinds Mask Mandate After Saying Judge Didn’t Rule Against Their Authority to Impose It

Williamson County Schools (WCS) announced Friday they’re ending their mask mandate, several weeks after a judge opined they lacked legal authority to continue imposing it. After the spring semester lets out, WCS won’t require masks any longer. In a voicemail obtained by The Tennessee Star, WCS Communications Director Carol Birdsong announced to parents that WCS was ending their mask mandate.

“Hello Williamson County Schools families, this is Carol Birdsong calling. Superintendent Jason Golden announced at last night’s school board work session that the district’s indoor mask requirement will come to an end once school has been dismissed and campuses have been cleared on Friday, May 21. The district will continue to recommend and encourage masks this summer for those who are not fully vaccinated – but they will not be required. More information is included in the email that is accompanying this phone call.”

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Williamson County Schools Ignores Judge Ruling Against Mask Mandates

Williamson County Schools (WCS) will continue their mask mandate, although a judge opined that they lacked authority to do so. Since Williamson County Circuit Court Judge Michael Binkley dismissed the case for lack of standing, he didn’t order the Williamson County Board of Education (WCBOE) to stop enforcing their mask mandate. However, he did specify in an alternative ruling that WCBOE lacked the legal authority to continue enforcing their mask mandate.

The Court is not convinced, as a matter of law, that WCBOE acted within its statutory authority at the time it promulgated its face-covering requirements. Further, the policy decisions promulgated by Mayor [Rogers] Anderson and Governor [Bill] Lee in February 2021 and April 2021 are inconsistent with WCBOE’s continued enforcement of face-covering requirements. With respect to WCBOE’s authority to issue a face-covering requirement, [their] Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment is alternatively DENIED. The Court cannot find, as a matter of law, Defendants have acted within the authority given to them by the legislature when enacting face-covering requirements.

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