After mass protests in early August by parents in Tennessee against mask and vaccine mandates, some school boards throughout the state moved to expand their mandates instead of lifting them.
Williamson County Schools for example recently voted 8-4 at a special meeting Thursday night to require elementary through high school students to wear masks.
Despite passionate pleas from parents against the mandates, the school board expanded its mask mandate following an incident earlier in the month in which a group of parents demonstrated outside of a board meeting over the board’s support for face coverings.
Now, a viral video has surfaced of a student at the University of Tennessee being dragged out of the classroom for refusing to wear a mask in class, as other young gen-z students laugh during the ordeal.
The police officer can be heard on video talking about the student not wearing a mask, and that the officer was just ‘doing his job’ by pulling the student out of the school.
Many in conservative media are asking how this is happening in red states across the country, while blue states are moving to expand their mandates.
The state of Oregon for example, recently announced that not only has the mask mandate been reimposed for indoor use regardless of vaccination status, but also for outdoor settings as well.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order in late August that prevents school districts from imposing mask mandates which don’t allow parents to opt-out of them, making Tennessee only the ninth state to enact such measures.
Most of the bills – aside from those enacted in Florida – have no teeth, and schools throughout those states continue to impose mask mandates.
Republicans currently control 26 state legislatures and governorships, but only Florida has effective legislation that bars businesses and schools from imposing mask or vaccine mandates.
Meanwhile, democratic states move further in the opposite direction.
While Oregon is extending their mask mandates to outdoors regardless of vaccination status, California is considering requiring all businesses to make customers show that they’ve been vaccinated before entering their business or be fired.
The science on mask efficacy is settled and has been for a very long time. The vast majority of decades of scientific research regarding the efficacy of masks show they do not prevent the spread of any respiratory illnesses.
In a recent letter to Tennessee’s governor, the country’s top education official, Miguel Cardona, said that Tennessee’s anti-mask policy for students ‘infringes’ upon districts’ federal obligations to provide safe in-person learning plans.
Under the ‘police powers’ of the tenth amendment, it is clearly stated that the regulation of health, wellbeing, morality, and education of citizens is under the sole authority of the states. Police powers are the powers of a state government to make and enforce all laws necessary to preserve public health, safety, and the general welfare of the citizens of the country.
Meanwhile in Texas, a man was allegedly arrested for not wearing a mask in a business, leaving his daughter seemingly alone having to call someone to pick her up.
This is a familiar site in Texas and other red states across the country where there is no effective legislation in place to prevent this from happening.
Another woman in Texas was arrested twice in March for refusing to wear a mask in businesses.
In Austin, Texas Eanes Independent School District is planning to create separate learning spaces for masked and unmasked students in the district.
District leaders decided on the plan in late August. The school board told administrators to start enforcing the Travis County mask mandate as soon as possible.
District leaders said the recent decision is all about keeping kids safe, and in classrooms where they can learn effectively. The changes took effect on Friday, Aug. 27th.