KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs has sent a letter urging Knox County Law Director David Buuck to consider appealing the court-ordered mask mandate for Knox County Schools.
Jacobs begins the letter by explaining his belief in the “negative implications” on Judge Ronnie Greer’s temporary injunction has for the “health and wellbeing of students, faculty, and staff.” He also immediately follows it up by stating, “Though my office has been a vocal advocate for personal responsibility, we have always taken the COVID-19 pandemic seriously. I am also aware that Knox County Government is not a defendant in this case.”
Greer issued a temporary injunction on Friday telling Knox County Schools to enforce a mask mandate without an opt-out option after several families of Knox County students filed a lawsuit alleging Gov. Bill Lee’s executive order and Knox County Schools’ lack of mask mandate violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
On behalf of his constituents that are against the mandate, Jacobs writes to Buuck, “I strongly encourage you to consider appealing the preliminary injunction as a whole, or in part, as quickly as possible.”
He also cites that this court-ordered mandate has resulted in a loss of a school day that the system took in order to prepare for the switch back to requiring masks.
On Monday, Jacobs released a series of statements calling on parents to be tolerant and respectful while transitioning their children into this new mask mandate in schools.
“Be tolerant and respectful, especially of schools, other families and their children. We saw this before and people have very passionate feelings on both sides, but we all have to remember we don’t want our community to be torn apart. We need to try to be tolerant of one another. Do not direct your frustration at the schools and certainly not at kids in schools. We need to be cognizant of what we’re doing and saying because it can have an impact on students. I want everyone to be very aware of the frustration we all feel, but we must express that in a responsible way.”
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery announced Monday he would appeal two rulings, including the Knox County decision, that block Governor Bill Lee’s mask mandate opt-out order.