Grandmother pleads with DeSoto County Schools and governor to require masks

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 5:33 PM CDT
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DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has made it clear that he will not issue a statewide mask mandate.

One DeSoto County family doesn’t understand the governor’s reasoning, especially with children 12 and younger not being able to get vaccinated.

When it comes to masks, there are people on both sides, those for and against them.

Kim Chatman has three grandchildren in the DeSoto County School District. With all of them being under 12, she worries they can contract COVID-19 and bring it home to family members who are high risk.

“Kids under 12 can not get the vaccine, and so the fact that you have kids with just, they can wear a mask or they can’t is a problem. There should be a mask mandate,” Chatman said.

Chatman says with the district doing 100 percent in-person learning and masks are not being required, she is beyond concerned. She’s especially after losing a family member to the virus and learning about one of her grandchildren being in close contact to someone at school.

“It doesn’t seem to be taken very seriously in Mississippi. I see a lot of people without masks,” Chatman said.

Chatman says she reached out to the district and the governor about requiring masks.

This week, the district announced Hernando High School is temporarily transitioning to virtual learning due to an increase of cases among students.

In-person instruction will resume August 25 with a hybrid schedule that “is only temporary.” The district also added, “there are no plans at this time for other schools to use a hybrid schedule.”

Reeves reiterated Thursday he will not issue a statewide mask mandate.

“I will not issue mandate, after mandate, after mandate. Let me be clear, I do not give a damn about any political agenda. This pandemic, much of which is a pandemic of the unvaccinated at this, time is before us,” Reeves said.

Chatman says people need to stop calling this a political issue.

“That virus doesn’t know if you’re right or you’re left, so for him to continuously not wanting to take any action, why? What is your reason?” Chatman said.

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