ATLANTA - In a letter to Gov. Brian Kemp, a state senator urged Georgia's top elected official to call a special session of the General Assembly so they can ban school mask mandates.
"I'm getting calls from parents and teachers who don't want to be forced to do a mask mandate. They would rather choose," explained Sen. Burt Jones, R-Jackson.
Jones said he wants state lawmakers to head off school mask requirements before they spread across the state.
Atlanta Public Schools, DeKalb County Schools and Fulton County Schools, among others, have instituted a mask mandate for the current school year.
"Mandating masks in our public schools cannot and should not be allowed in our state. Instead, parents should have the flexibility to make that decision for their child," Sen. Jones wrote. "Such mandates are not based on scientific data, will have significant long-term effects on our children's educational development, and will be an overwhelming and unnecessary burden on our teachers and parents who have already endured so much over the past year and a half."
The Centers for Disease Control issued new guidance in July stating unvaccinated people two and older should wear masks indoors. Currently, there are no approved vaccines for children under the age of 12.
"The Governor’s clear and consistent concerns with the effectiveness and enforceability of mask mandates are well-known. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation alongside members of the General Assembly to ensure Georgia remains open for business and students receive a quality education. The Governor continues to urge all unvaccinated Georgians to consult with a medical provider and get vaccinated," a spokesperson for Gov. Kemp said in a statement to FOX 5.
Jones is expected to announce a run for Lt. Gov. in the coming weeks.
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