KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tuesday marked the first day of classes for Knox County Schools with a court-ordered mask mandate in place. The move created tension throughout the drop-off lines after the Knox County Board of Education previously voted against requiring masks.
A mother of a student at Belle Morris Elementary School said she is in favor of the mandate. “I feel like with the vaccines not reaching their ages I kind of feel like it might be in their best interest,” said Sasha Ciuffine. “It might be their only area of protection.”
Another mother at Belle Morris said for her it’s about keeping those who are high-risk in her family safe. “I have a bunch of people in my family that are immune-compromised,” the woman said. “Even though they are not 100% effective and they are very kind of uncomfortable, any little thing to help keep our children and our families safe.”
WATE 6 On Your Side news crews also stopped by Whittle Springs Middle School and Halls Middle School.
A group of parents and students at Halls Middle School first gathered at the church parking lot across the street and then walked to the school together. Many of them were not wearing masks. When asked if they wanted to talk with us about the mandate, they replied, “no comment.”
State Representative Jason Zachary also tweeted about the situation Tuesday morning.
Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs wrote an open letter to county law Director David Buuck urging him to appeal the federal court’s decision. 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.
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