FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Kentucky Board of Education has passed a 270-day emergency mask regulation at public schools statewide.
The board approved the mask mandate in a unanimous vote, but the board could also end it earlier.
Kentucky Board of Education passes a 270 day emergency masking regulation.— Karolina Buczek (@Karolina_Buczek) August 12, 2021
Education Commissioner stands “strongly behind the board’s decision.”
He says they will keep an eye on the developing covid situation. Won’t keep kids in masks any longer than necessary. @LEX18News pic.twitter.com/EPznTjwtPU
On Tuesday, Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order requiring students, staff, and visitors to wear masks inside all schools and child care centers. The order expires in 30 days but can be renewed.
The Kentucky Board of Education's emergency mask regulation is separate from the governor's order and expires in 270 days. The board says that timeframe comes from state statute, which makes all emergency regulations effective for 270 days or the regulation is withdrawn.
Many parents showed up to protest the decision saying they're upset that kids are required to wear a mask.
Several of the signs the protesters are holding mention freedom/tyranny.— Karolina Buczek (@Karolina_Buczek) August 12, 2021
“It’s not a mask thing. It’s a freedom thing.”
“Tyranny: cruel and oppressive government or rule.”
This week, we heard from several health dept leaders who say masks will protect children. @LEX18News pic.twitter.com/VdBlijaiPx
Because of the Delta variant's spread, the CDC says schools should require masks. Many health experts say this will protect kids who cannot get vaccinated yet.
Education Commissioner Jason Glass says this emergency regulation can be rescinded if guidance from the CDC changes. The board can lift the regulation within 24 hours.
So, if the CDC or the state changes their guidance, the board will adjust, but they don't need to wait for that. Commissioner Glass says they can change their mind tomorrow. So, the 270-day regulation doesn't mean kids will be in masks for 270 days.