SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Does your child need to wear a mask at school? In Shelby County, it depends where you live.
Right now, five of the six municipal school districts say masks are optional.
Meanwhile, the Germantown Municipal School District and Shelby County Schools say masks remain mandatory.
This all comes after conflicting guidance for schools from the federal, state, and local levels.
For the first time in months, students at Ellendale Elementary School, which is part of Bartlett City Schools, are not required to wear masks in the classroom.
The district is one of the five municipal districts in Shelby County that recently made masks optional.
“I just know yesterday they said it was optional, and today I just went ahead and sent one with one because I didn’t know what was going on,” Casey Crowell, a parent of a third-grader, said.
Crowell said she’s leaving the decision up to her son. ”I told him yesterday, I said if you want to wear it, wear it. If you don’t, don’t.”
Meanwhile, parents like Jeannie Partain said her daughter will continue to wear a mask.
“If the parents feel comfortable with it, then go ahead,” she said. “I just know me personally; I keep the mask on.”
Governor Bill Lee on Friday signed a law banning schools from enforcing mask mandates.
That led to Arlington, Collierville, Bartlett, Lakeland, and Millington school districts dropping the requirement over the weekend.
On Monday, the Shelby County Health Department said all schools in the county must require masks as a federal judge ordered as part of an ongoing lawsuit.
“I am very confused. It’s like, do we or do we not? So that is how I feel,” Partain said.
FOX13 asked the health department if they will take any action if the municipal districts don’t reinstate mask mandates. They sent this response:
“The Shelby County Health Department is currently investigating complaints it receives about health order violations. Health department investigators are documenting each violation. In the event of an outbreak, the masking practices could make a significant difference in the number of students who are quarantined due to exposure.”
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