Lee Keeps An Eye On Mask Mandates While Lawmakers Push For Special Session

Photo: Governor Bill Lee & House Speaker Cameron Sexton

Photo Credit: Gov Bill Lee / Facebook & Speaker Cameron Sexton / Facebook

Published August 10, 2021

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has said he will be keeping an eye on school-wide mask mandates while House Speaker Cameron Sexton may push for a special session. 

Tennessee Capitol Building in Nashville

Nashville and Memphis, two of the state’s biggest school systems, along with Hancock County are the only districts that have a mask mandate implemented for students and staff. 

Lee said on Monday, August 9, that there is not currently a special session planned. 

“He and I have not spoken about whether or not he’s going to specifically ask for that,” Lee said about Sexton. 

He told Fox 17 News that in the next few days he will start work with legislators regarding mandates and that, “nothing’s off the table.”

“No one’s making decisions knowingly threatening the lives of children. There are a lot of opinions about what’s the best way forward, but I feel very confident that we’ll find the way. We’ll work with the legislature. We’ll work with the parents. We’ll work with the school boards,” Lee said. 

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Lee also added that school districts are able to make decisions like these because of Tennessee law. 

“Those schools boards are elected locally in those communities and the school boards should listen to their parents,” he said. “The parents should have an option on that.”

During a press conference last week, Sexton threatened to call for a special session if Tennessee schools required masks, or closed their doors in response to the Covid pandemic. 

“We want parents making the decision on whether to wear masks in schools,” Sexton said. “So, I sure hope school systems do not require a mask mandate for these students and if they do, I’m going to ask the governor for a special session.”

His office also released a statement on Monday to say they “are starting discussions with House members.”

The governor has shared Sexton’s opinion on masks, wanting the choice to be up to the individual. 

“No one cares more about the children in this state than the parents of those children. No one knows what’s best for a child than that child’s parents,” Lee told Fox. 

In Nashville, the school board voted to approve a district-wide mask mandate. The Shelby County Health Department implemented the same mandate in Memphis, which prompted Senator Paul Rose to push for a special session as well. 

“Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me and my office regarding the recent Shelby Co. Health Department mandate,” Rose posted on his Facebook page. “I share everyone’s sentiment and frustration in this overreach and am currently doing all that I can to fight this. I have reached out to Governor Lee urging him to call a special session as well as conveyed my support of this to leadership. It is my hope that Governor Lee and leadership will help the citizens and students of Shelby Co in this fight.”

Lee’s office released a statement to reiterate his stance on masks and individual choice. 

The statement said “he does not believe masks should be required in schools, and parents should make the decision that’s best for their family. We are currently monitoring district policies as the school year begins.”

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About the Author:

Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative 

Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Directory for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com

2 thoughts on “Lee Keeps An Eye On Mask Mandates While Lawmakers Push For Special Session

  • August 10, 2021 at 8:02 pm

    Good lots of jobs get out there

  • August 11, 2021 at 12:40 am

    Gov Lee is a RINO!!!
    Has no one noticed what he signed on Friday August 6th?!?
    He is a Democratic pawn at best!
    We need to stand up now!!!!


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