KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The day before students return to Knox County Schools under a court-ordered mask mandate, a school bus contractor released a statement supporting mask-wearing decisions made by the bus drivers who work for them.
“We understand this is a court order and that Knox County Schools will do their best to comply. As for our drivers, it is our understanding that most if not all will wear masks. If one chooses not to wear their mask, the fact is that this is America and we have rights. We will stand with our drivers,” Tammy Williams, school bus contractor, said in a statement.
“This isn’t about the mask, it is about the right to choose.”
On Saturday, busisnesses who hold bus contracts for Knox County Schools held an emergency meeting to discuss the federal court order for masks in Knox County Schools, according to a press release.
The release stated contractors originally voted to halt services on Monday but later reversed that decision because they felt children and parents would not have time to be informed of the change. Williams said the contractors didn’t want children to be waiting at their bus stops Monday morning if no bus was going to come.
A spokesperson with Knox County Schools said, “We work with bus contractors on a daily basis to provide bus service to our students. We are not asking them to do anything different than they did last year. If a student does not have a mask, we are requesting that they offer them one. Any other action would be the responsibility of Knox County Schools. We are very appreciative of our drivers and contractors and the service they provide to our students and families.”