S Carolina court upholds mask ban; trumped by federal ruling

South Carolina News

Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s Supreme Court has ruled lawmakers can try to prevent local school districts from requiring masks in classrooms.

But the ruling is trumped by a federal court decision two days ago that suspended the ban because federal law trumps state law.

The state Supreme Court ruling Thursday does say districts can both require masks and follow the state rule if they can find a way to not spend state money enforcing the wearing of face coverings.

The federal ruling says the South Carolina Legislature’s ban on mask requirements discriminates against medically fragile students who can’t feel safe in public schools without face coverings.

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