OCSD Releases Statement Following Court Rulings on the Mask Mandate Prohibition
Consistent with our District’s commitment throughout this pandemic to implement health and safety measures recommended by public health officials to the fullest extent reasonable and legally allowable, Orangeburg County School District’s administration and board, in collaboration with our legal counsel, are reviewing two recent court rulings related to Proviso 1.108.
As many are aware, Proviso 1.108 was enacted into law by our general assembly on June 22, 2021, and prohibits school districts from requiring masks in our schools. As we’ve shared, more than 90% of Orangeburg’s students and staff have demonstrated tremendous responsibility in individually electing to protect their own health and that of others by wearing face coverings. These efforts have helped mitigate the spread of coronavirus within our schools and enabled in-person learning to be maintained.
As the battle for and against Proviso 1.108, the “Mask Mandate Prohibition,” wages on in the courts and school districts throughout the state endeavor to make sense of what may appear to be conflicting rulings from federal and state supreme courts, we are certainly fortunate that Orangeburg’s students and staff are already following public health recommendations.
Should requiring masks become necessary to ensure the safety of our students and staff, especially our medically-fragile and those with underlying health conditions, we are encouraged that these decisions may allow greater flexibility for districts in legally implementing a mask mandate.