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Group calls on Gov. Bill Lee to implement a temporary mask requirement and virtual school option

The advocates said if Governor Lee doesn't respond with a course of action, more lawsuits could be possible in the near future.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A group of health and education leaders are calling out Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, saying he needs to step up and lead during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They are calling on him to implement a temporary mask requirement and virtual school option. They penned an open letter to Lee.

Lee has been outspoken against school mask mandates and virtual learning for students.

But this group, comprised of a doctor – who is also running against Lee for governor – a school nurse, school leader, parent, and a teacher, all said he needs to think about the students and educators who are at risk.

"As someone who claims to support school choice for parents and less government control, I simply can't understand why we cannot allow our local school boards to assess and meet the needs and wishes of the parents in their own communities,” said Tiffany Crow, a Shelby County Schools middle school teacher.

"What works for our district may not work for a small district somewhere in upper East Tennessee, okay? In our districts, we need the mask mandate. I know there are people who say that masks don't help. Masks do help,” said Deloris Yates, a Shelby County Schools nurse.

The advocates said if Governor Lee doesn't respond with a course of action, more lawsuits could be possible in the near future, like the one filed by Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris.

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