US South Carolina officials want out of mask mandate ban suit
Mariachi Mass, water cutbacks, Maine bicentennial: News from around our 50 states
How the COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting every stateStart the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.
South Carolina officials who have been sued over a law banning school districts from issuing face mask mandates say that they should be removed from pending litigation.
That's the argument made in recent court filings from Gov. Henry McMaster, Attorney General Alan Wilson and others being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union, on behalf of disability rights groups and parents of South Carolina children with disabilities. The plaintiffs are challenging a budget measure passed this summer that prevents South Carolina districts from using any state funding to require masks in schools.
Like Florida, Texas' Largest School Districts Defiant Over State's Mask Mandate Ban
"There is lots of evidence that supports masking and there is no evidence that it causes any harm," pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Jessica Snowden said.Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin, are defying Governor Greg Abbott's mask mandate ban in favor of keeping students and parents "safe." Abbott, who tested positive for the virus this week, is fighting the school districts in court and they aren't budging. The court ruled Thursday that the districts can have a mask mandate until the legal battle is resolved.
In papers filed last week, attorneys for McMaster — a Republican who has said repeatedly that parents alone should decide if children wear masks in schools — argued that the ACLU and its clients “have not alleged, and they cannot reasonably or plausibly allege, that Governor McMaster acted with bad faith or gross misconduct.”
The plaintiffs, they went on, “cannot simply litigate their policy preferences or run to court over their disagreements with decisions made by their representatives in the General Assembly."
The lawsuit percolates as South Carolina deals with a renewed COVID-19 surge, driven in part by the delta variant and a vaccination rate of just under 50% of eligible residents. Intensive care units in both adult and children hospitals are full, and more than 750 deaths have been reported in the first half of September. The average new cases reported daily is still around 4,500 — a level only surpassed during the winter peak, before vaccines were widely available.
South Carolina vs. East Carolina odds, line: 2021 college football picks, Week 2 predictions from proven model
SportsLine's model just revealed its college football picks for East Carolina vs. South Carolina odds from Caesars Sportsbook, and the over-under is set at 57.5. Before entering any South Carolina vs. East Carolina picks, you'll want to see the college football predictions from the model at SportsLine. The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past five-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of over $3,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread.
The resurgence has forced a number of schools and two entire districts back to online learning within a month of returning in person. Some districts and cities have disregarded the ban, moving forward with implementing their own requirements.
Such a move was taken this week by the state's second-largest school district, which on Tuesday, planning to use federal money to enforce the policy for its 48,000 students. Earlier this month, the state Supreme Court struck down the capital city of Columbia's school mask mandate for children too young to be vaccinated, following a lawsuit from Wilson.
alleges that the mask mandate ban disproportionately affects students with underlying health conditions or disabilities, who are at risk of becoming seriously ill if they contract COVID-19, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, under which public schools cannot exclude students with disabilities or segregate them unnecessarily from their peers.
Is Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate a law? What happens to those who don't get the shot?
Biden's pathway to enforce the COVID-19 mandate is through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.Biden's six-part plan to counteract the delta variant is his most aggressive action he's taken yet, as it is expected to impact nearly 80 million Americans, including government employees who also fall under the mandate.
Video: The legality of mask mandates, explained (The Washington Post)
Schools are also required to provide reasonable modifications to allow students with disabilities to participate fully.
Last month, the plaintiffsblocking the law from being enforced, with attorneys arguing that state officials “are illegally forcing South Carolina families who have children with disabilities to choose between their child’s education and their child’s health and safety.”
The defendants filed individual briefs opposing the restraining order request. McMaster's attorneys noted that the governor “has consistently encouraged South Carolinians to heed applicable public health guidance, which has included wearing masks in public settings where it is not possible to practice social distancing, and he has encouraged eligible and willing individuals to get vaccinated.”
Wilson also filed a memo opposing the restraining order request but also arguing that he shouldn’t have been named in the lawsuit, as “he played no part in any alleged violation of the statutes in question.”
Masks burnt outside Florida board meeting; board passes final budget
Far fewer people arrived to speak at the meeting, which was the board's final budget hearing. Masks were not on the agendaOutside the meeting at the Brevard County Public School headquarters in Viera, Florida, one group of protesters gathered to burn masks, while another group of anti-mask mandate activists held a separate prayer vigil.
Attorneys for several school districts argued that the injunction request “does not show the existence of immediate and irreparable injury regarding the School Board Defendants’ educational programs.” In a separate brief, attorneys wrote that Education Superintendent Molly Spearman “takes no substantive position on the issues” and “will continue to properly discharge the duties" of her office.
In a response, ACLU attorneys wrote that, in their filings, the defendants “who do engage with the substance of the arguments — most notably the Governor and Attorney General — confirm that Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits.”
McMaster, who has called the lawsuit’s arguments “totally inaccurate,” has urged South Carolinians to get vaccinated against COVID-19, though children under age 12 are not yet eligible.
“All we can do about that is to get the information to the people, tell them what works, what doesn’t work, and let them make the best decision for their own families, their own lives,” McMaster said Tuesday.
Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at.
Meg Kinnard can be reached at.
Casa Bonita, MyPillow poke, Banksy exhibit: News from around our 50 states .
Wyoming memorial honors Native American veterans, South Carolina project seeks Gullah Geechee land deeds, and moreStart the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.