Mask requirements at Williamson County Schools and Franklin Special School District will remain in place following actions from the U.S. District Court of Middle Tennessee on Nov. 14.
According to an announcement from WCS, a new lawsuit challenging Gov. Bill Lee's new legislation removing some mask requirements in schools caused Judge Waverly Crenshaw to "maintain the status quo," keeping the mask requirement in place.
A hearing on the case is slated for Nov. 15; however, officials said the requirements will stand until further notice.
Posted: Nov. 13, 7:34 a.m.
Williamson County Schools will lift its mask mandate weeks earlier than anticipated following new legislation signed by Gov. Bill Lee.
On Nov. 12, WCS officials sent communication to families announcing the mask requirement, which had been in place for students and staff for the past few months, will expire immediately.
"As you may know, the Tennessee State Legislature met in special session late last month and passed legislation that eliminates our mask requirement based on the number of positive cases in our community," WCS Executive Director of Communications Carol Birdsong said in an email. "The governor signed the legislation into law late today. You may also recall that we were under a federal court order to require masks. While that case remains active, the terms of the current temporary order do not conflict with us following this new state law. Effective immediately, the mask requirement is no longer applicable for students, staff, volunteers and visitors in Williamson County Schools."
Students and staff still have the option to continue wearing masks if they wish to do so, according to WCS.
The district's mask mandate was originally intended to stay in effect through Jan. 19. The district has seen a decline in active cases, from a high of 649 active cases among students and staff on Aug. 27, to 88 active cases as of Nov. 12.