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Gov. Lee to renew mask opt-out order, plans to fight challenges

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced Thursday that he plans to renew his controversial masking opt-out order and fight challenges to the order across the state.
Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 2:55 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced Thursday that he plans to renew his masking opt-out order and fight challenges to the order across the state.

Gov. Lee made the announcement on Twitter, saying “I am renewing my mask opt out order & will work with the AG to challenge the federal rulings that inappropriately legislated from the bench.”

The original order allows parents to opt their children out of school mask mandates, but has seen challenges in some school systems.

Thursday’s announcement comes the same week that a federal judge ordered Knox County Schools to implement a temporary mask mandate following a suit from three Knox County School families. Under the order, only those on the autism spectrum and those who have received tracheotomies are exempt from wearing a mask in schools.

Knox County officials have tried to apply for more exemptions to the order. Wednesday and Thursday officials submitted motions asking for the court to recognize 60 other conditions to exempt someone from masking in school.

The Governor’s mask opt-out order was originally set to expire on Oct. 5.

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