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School districts could lose their insurance if they don’t comply with mask mandate

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 5:54 PM EDT
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EDMONSON COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) - Some Kentucky school districts that had planned to make masks optional for students say they were caught off guard following Governor Andy Beshear’s executive order announcement Tuesday.

“We were given no advance notice that there was going to be a mask mandate,” said Edmonson County Superintendent, Brian Alexander.

The afternoon before the first day of school, some school districts that made masks optional, scrambled to answer parents’ questions.

“We had a game plan in place before this executive order and we’re putting a game plan together right now,” said Alexander.

Alexander says the school district will follow the mandate but adds that they do support local control.

“We want to keep that local control because we feel like as the superintendent, the Board of Education, that we have our finger on the pulse of the people of Edmonson County a little better than then, you know, at a statewide level,” said Alexander.

Now if the school district didn’t comply with the mandate, they could lose their insurance, according to Edmonson County’s attorney.

“As the superintendent of schools in Edmonson County, I can’t put our school district in jeopardy not to have insurance,” said Alexander. “So really, we have no choice but to comply to the executive order.”

[Official statement from Edmonson County Superintendent Brian Alexander]

The executive order cites several exemptions including if a child has a disability, if you’re eating, participating in outdoor activities, among other items.

“But let’s certainly make sure that any exemption that someone is claiming is real,” said Governor Andy Beshear. “And it’s not their parents trying to fight some political proxy battle with the safety of their children. Our children are not property, they are not chattel, they are not means for us to fight an argument.”

Whether agree or disagree, the Edmonson County School District, among other districts within southcentral Kentucky, say they will simply follow the rules at hand.

“As a school district, we don’t want to get into deciding which laws we follow and which ones we don’t. We don’t feel like that’s an example that we want to set,”said Alexander.

Edmonson County does offer virtual school for parents who don’t want to send their kids to school in masks.

This executive order goes into effect for 30 days, but is subject to renewal.

You can read the full executive order below:

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