School system keeps mask requirements after governor’s executive order

School systems keep mask requirements after Governor’s executive order

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - We’re hearing from people in Thomas County after Gov. Kemp’s most recent executive order.

Under the order, cities and counties can’t require people in their communities to wear masks.

It’s also up to local school boards to decide if students and teachers will have to wear masks when schools reopen.

Thomasville City and Thomas County Schools sent out their re-entry plans before the governor’s latest order.

School Systems Keep Mask Requirements After Governor's Executive Order
School Systems Keep Mask Requirements After Governor's Executive Order (Source: WALB)

Both plans include requirements for students to wear masks on buses and in hallways.

Teachers are also required to wear masks when social distancing isn’t possible or in common areas.

Thomas County Schools say after the governor’s executive order, these requirements still stand for the upcoming school year.

We spoke with a business owner in the area, William Johnson, who said he agrees with the school moving forward in this decision.

“The safety and well-being of our children are a top priority. For our children’s sake, we can never be too cautious,” Johnson explained.

Just as he has guidelines in place to keep his customers and employees safe, Johnson believes the schools are doing families a favor by enforcing their guidelines and asking students to wear masks.

William Johnson, Owner of Rose City Pick-Up Diner
William Johnson, Owner of Rose City Pick-Up Diner (Source: WALB)

“We want our kids to be healthy, we want them to be safe, and we want them to be educated. However, we have to do that as safely as possible. To me, it’s something I would endorse,” said Johnson.

Johnson said if his kids were still in school, his number one priority would be to continue helping them get an education while being safe and he would have reservations if schools had no mask-wearing requirements.

One college student, who wanted to remain anonymous, says she believes wearing masks do nothing to help stop the spread, and she doesn’t believe it should be a requirement.

A teacher in the area says it's good to have the requirement in place, but she doesn't believe students will follow keeping them on.

Johnson said no one was prepared for this pandemic, and he commends the school systems and community leaders for how they’ve adjusted along the way.

“I think the superintendents and the faculty have done a fantastic job. Even at our private schools, they have made safety a top priority for Thomas County,” said Johnson.

Both school systems are offering virtual learning.

Thomasville City Schools says they’re sticking with their mask requirements and following the guidelines from the Department of Public Health.

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