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Knox County School Board files for masking exemptions

The Knox County Board of Education has filed a list of proposed exemptions for their federally imposed mask mandate.
Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 12:33 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2021 at 12:48 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Knox County Board of Education has filed a list of proposed exemptions for their federally imposed mask mandate. The proposal comes after a judge ordered the school district to reimplement a masking mandate following a lawsuit with three Knox County Schools families.

According to court documents, the board is asking that students with several qualities be exempted from the order. Among other proposed exemptions, the documents list Down syndrome, allergies to pollen, depression and any medical doctor-specified exception as reasons for students to go without masks.

The board did highlight in the filing that not all students with the listed conditions are incapable of wearing a mask.

“KCBOE would note that not every student with some of the below conditions is incapable of wearing a mask (either due to medical, behavioral or instructional reasons) but some students certainly are and thus KCBOE had to list the entire category of medical conditions in order to comply with the Order,” the documents said.

The federal order as it stands requires the school system to enforce the same masking mandate it had for the 2020-2021 school year. According to Knox County Schools documents, last year’s mandate mentions that a doctor-ordered medical condition can exempt a student from wearing a mask in school given a principal’s approval. The same exemption can be listed in a teacher’s education plan.

The documents can be read in full below:

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