Posted: Thursday, August 26, 2021

With rising COVID infection rates statewide, the South Carolina Department of Education will require students in South Carolina to wear masks while on school buses.  This goes into effect on Monday, August 30. 

All students reporting to the bus without a mask will be offered a mask and the chance to comply with the federal mandate. Students who refuse the first time will be allowed to board the bus and will be given a verbal warning the first time.  For subsequent offenses, the district would follow progressive discipline procedures that could result in suspension of bus privileges for up to (30) days, and could further result in loss of bus privileges for the year.

Greenville County Schools’ decision not to mandate masks in our facilities does not abolish the requirement to wear masks on buses.  In South Carolina, buses are owned and administered by the South Carolina State Department of Education. As a result, the requirement that student wear masks while riding the bus remains in effect.

Please note:

  • The federal mask mandate is wholly separate from the local decision to not require masks in schools.
  • SCDE issued guidance on August 27, 2021 requiring masks on buses effective August 30, 2021.  That was a reversal of their decision not to mask on July 6, 2021.
  • The SCDE memo regarding this decision reinforces the expectation of the school districts to enforce the mask mandate—even with disciplinary measures.
  • GCS will not leave a student in an unsafe situation (on the side of the road) for non-compliance, but we are able to leave them at school because they are a safe environment.
SDE Bus Mask Mandate

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