SC Supreme Court says state proviso banning school mask mandates is constitutional

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– Thursday, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that Provisos 1. 108 and 1. 103 of the 2021-2022 Appropriations Act are constitutional. Authorities say Proviso 1. 108 prohibits the use of state funds to implement a mask mandate in K-12 schools.

Richland School District Two asked for the court’s opinion in this appellate case, saying that Proviso 1. 108 is in conflict with local laws regarding school mask requirements.

The courts opinion says, “We affirm our holding in City of Columbia that Proviso 1. 108 is valid and enforceable.”

You can read the court’s full opinion here.

The court referred to its ruling earlier this month, saying that the City of Columbia implementing mask mandates in schools violates state law. The court declined to give Richland Two guidance on its options regarding virtual learning.

While the court holds that the proviso prevents the enforcement of mask mandates using funds from the 2021-2022 Appropriations Act, the court says it does not reject the possibility that other funds could be used.

Richland Two Superintendent Dr. Baron Davis released a statement on the court’s opinion. It reads, “After consulting with legal counsel regarding today’s S.C. Supreme Court ruling and the ruling issued by U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis, Richland School District Two administration will continue to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the S.C. Department of Education (SDE) by requiring face coverings as outlined in Richland Two Administrative Rule ADD,”said Richland School District Two Superintendent Dr. Baron R. Davis.

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