SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Now that Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has signed an executive order that provides parents an opportunity to have their children opt out of wearing masks in schools --which would override the Shelby County Health Department’s mask mandate-- Memphis area school districts have responded to Monday afternoon’s development.
Arlington Community Schools
Arlington Community Schools said, "As directed by Gov. Lee’s executive order, ACS parents are allowed to opt their children out of the mask mandate by completing a form."
Bartlett City Schools
In a post to its website, Bartlett City Schools said, “Bartlett City Schools is aware that Governor Bill Lee has issued Executive Order No. 84 on August 16th. Bartlett City Schools is still under the Shelby County Health Department’s masks mandate as outlined in Health Order No. 24. Any parent or guardian choosing to opt out in accordance with Executive Order No. 84 must do so in writing to your child’s school.”
Families and Employees of Collierville Schools — This afternoon, Governor Bill Lee released Executive Order No. 84: An Order Regarding Mask Requirements in Schools. Effective immediately, Collierville Schools' parents/guardians have the choice to opt out of any order or requirement for their child(ren) in kindergarten through twelfth grade to wear a face covering at school, on a school bus, or at school functions.
Any parent/guardian who wishes to opt out their child out of the masking mandate issued by the Shelby County Health Department in Amended Health Order No. 24 should submit the notice by either e-mail or handwritten note to their child's first teacher of the school day.
Items to consider:
- Masks are still required to be worn by all Collierville Schools employees during compensated hours (indoors), in accordance with Shelby County Health Department Health Order No. 24.
- Governor Lee's Executive Order No. 84 only applies to students in grades kindergarten through twelve. All adults visiting a school building are required to wear a mask during school operating hours.
- Close contacts will now be defined as anyone within a 6-foot radius of a Covid-positive individual. This is a transition from 3 feet to 6 feet due to the mask optional requirement under Executive Order No. 84. The change from 3 feet to 6 feet is a directive from the Shelby County Health Department.
Please direct all inquiries to the Department of Student Services.
Germantown Municipal School District
The Germantown Municipal School District send this email its families:
Earlier this afternoon, Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order No. 84 into law. According to the new executive order:
I, Governor Bill Lee, do hereby order that a student’s parent or guardian shall have the right to opt out of any order or requirement for a student in kindergarten through twelfth grade to wear a face covering at school, on a school bus, or at school functions, by affirmatively notifying in writing the local education agency or personnel at the student’s school.
If you’d like to read the entire Executive Order, please click here.
For families that are planning to opt-out, Germantown Municipal School District is requiring the following standardized form be used to submit your opt-out intent:
This Executive Order does not apply to adults visiting the building or to school staff. This order is only applicable to students. All adults and staff members are required to wear masks while on GMSD campuses during the school day, in accordance with Shelby County Health Directive No. 24.
Lakeland School System
Lakeland School System said If parents send a letter to school administrators or to the students’ teachers, students will be allowed to opt out.
Millington Municipal Schools
Millington Municipal Schools said, "This message is to inform you of Governor Lee’s Executive Order number 84. Parents and/or Guardians may opt out of the Shelby County Health Department’s Mask Mandate for any student in grades PreK-12. Parents/Guardians must provide a written letter that includes student name, grade, school location, and guardian name to the Millington Municipal School District or to the student’s school stating their desire for their student to OPT OUT of the mask mandate.
If you have any further questions please reach out to your student’s school during normal school hours. Thank you and have a great night! GO TROJANS!
Shelby County Schools
In a tweet Monday evening, Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dr. Joris M. Ray said, “Board Members and I are consulting with our General Counsel to review the legalities of Governor Lee’s Executive Order 84. In the meantime and in alignment with @ShelbyTNHealth (Shelby County Health Department) Order No. 24, MASKS ARE REQUIRED for all employees, students, and visitors in our schools and offices.”