MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A group of Shelby County parents are protesting Governor Bill Lee’s executive order that allows parents to opt their children out of mask mandates in schools. The group intends to voice their concerns in Nashville Thursday and hopes to meet with the governor.
The group of concerned parents includes Marcus Randolph. His 8-year-old son attends Shelby County Schools.
“I don’t know how death and suffering became political,” Randolph said.
The order is currently blocked in Shelby County after a recent federal court ruling but now, State Attorney General Herbert Slatery is appealing that ruling and a similar one for Knox County.
In a statement, he said, “These orders have impeded the governor’s executive authority during an emergency to direct the State’s public health response.”
Parents like Randolph are afraid Slatery will win that legal fight, which would allow students to go mask-free.
The parents are also upset with Shelby County Schools. They want officials to give students the ability to go virtual anytime.
Right now, only students who opted in at the beginning of the year can be virtual.
“We have so many children that have respiratory problems, asthma, bronchitis, different problems,” Bridget Bradley said. “We need options.”
She says options are particularly crucial for students too young to get vaccinated.
WREG reached out to SCS and the governor’s office for comment but, as of this writing, we have not heard back from either.
If you want to join those parents headed to Nashville, you can contact Casio Montez at 901-493-6167.