Small group gathers to protest mask requirement in Jessamine County Schools

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – People are protesting Jessamine County’s decision to mandate masks for the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.

Thursday morning, a small group gathered in front of West Jessamine Middle School to protest the requirement.

The mask requirement, announced Tuesday by Jessamine County Schools Superintendent Matt Moore, was put into place just hours before Governor Andy Beshear ordered masks be mandated in Kentucky schools to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“In the past week, new cases in Jessamine County have jumped from 93 to 148, with five percent of those cases in JCS students. Four weeks ago, the JCHD was reporting 26 cases,” said Jessamine County Schools Superintendent Matt Moore in a statement Tuesday.

Protesters objected to the mandate’s late announcement, saying it didn’t give parents time to find other educational options for the 2021-2022 school year.

“The superintendent here did it at the eleventh hour–like I said right before school started–without giving parents a lot of options to be able to take their kids to a different school or into private school. It’s kind of like, ‘okay, sorry,'” said Jessamine County resident Marty Anderson.

In a statement Tuesday, Moore said the requirement was added when the Jessamine County Board of Education received updated guidance from the Jessamine County Health Department about the CDC’s changing of the definition of “close contact” as cases continue to rise.

“We are putting a great deal of effort into working with these families to resolve their concerns. We will do everything in our power to ensure that the issue of masking is as little distraction as possible for students, their families, and our staff,” said Moore in a statement Thursday.

Jessamine County Schools intends to transition away from mask usage as soon as it is considered safe to do so.

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