Gov. Kemp visits Cherokee County elementary school, reiterates support for local control

Gov. Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp visited Ball Ground Elementary School Friday to recognize the first week of the school year.

"It's awesome to see our kids back in the classroom," said Gov. Kemp.  "I can tell you that they are happy and they are learning."

The Kemps toured a second-grade classroom and held a roundtable discussion with local school leaders.

"So many things that he's shown us during his tenure as governor--one a proponent and champion of local control," said Cherokee Co. School District Superintendent Brian Hightower.  

SEE ALSO: As cases in children rise, pediatricians' group urges FDA to move swiftly on vaccines for kids

The Governor reflected on the negative attention that Cherokee County and the state received as students returned to campus last fall.  CCSD officials shut down three high schools for two weeks in August 2020 because of widespread COVID-19 exposure.  

"We told people before it happened there would be ups and downs, but I want to thank you all for being resilient and not wavering and getting through that and you had a great year because of that," said Gov. Kemp.

SEE ALSO: Kemp urges FDA for full approval of COVID-19 vaccines to 'instill greater confidence'

While some metro Atlanta school districts have implemented a mask mandate this school year, Cherokee County schools do not require students and staff to wear face coverings.

Gov. Kemp said while he does not believe mandates work, he supports local officials making those decisions.  

"Every school's different.  They're in different neighborhoods.  They're in different counties.  You know, they're rural, they're suburban, they're urban and I for one, have been for the most part when I could be a local control governor when it comes to education," Gov. Kemp explained.

FOX 5 asked Superintendent Hightower for an interview after the event but were told he did not have time.  

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