Knox County Schools staff sent home after refusing masks, leaves 200 kids without teacher

As of Sept. 29, only one staff member had returned to work.
Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 4:38 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Knox County Deputy Law Director David Sanders filed for further changes to a federal order enforcing a mask mandate in Knox County Schools Thursday. The appeal asks the court to consider more conditions that could exempt someone from wearing a mask in school and also provides more reasoning behind the request.

The order stated approximately 16 staff members were sent home without pay for refusing to wear masks on Sept. 28. The staff members sent home included 10 teachers and 5 paraprofessionals.

As a result of the staff members being sent home, approximately 200 students were without their teacher or paraprofessional, according to the order.

The incident comes as Gov. Bill Lee is set to renew his executive order that allows parents to opt their children out of mask mandates. According to an announcement from the governor, he plans to fight challenges to the order, like the federal ruling in Knox County.

As of Sept. 29, only one staff member had returned to work.

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