Stay up-to-date on what’s in the news with the Y’all Politics Daily Roundup. 

YP – Can Mississippi school districts legally mandate mask wearing unilaterally?

Instead of simply following the MSDH and CDC guidance and recommending this course of action, as recommendations do not carry the weight of law, some school districts have chosen to go a step further, unilaterally imposing mask mandates upon students, teachers and visitors on public school campuses as in-person classes resume in Mississippi.

Governor Tate Reeves has repeatedly said that he has no intention of reinstituting the mandating of masks in schools. He ratcheted that up a notch last week at the Neshoba County Fair saying the change in the CDC mask guidance was “foolish” and “harmful.”

“It reeks of political panic so as to appear they are in control. It has nothing to do with rational science. In Mississippi, we believe in freedom,” Reeves told the crowd.

The declared state of emergency in Mississippi expires on August 15th. Absent its extension, it remains unclear as to whether the Governor then has the authority to mandate mask wearing at that point, or even whether the Governor could order that school districts cannot mandate masks similar to the action taken by the Governors in Florida and Texas.

To say we are in legally unprecedented territory is an understatement.

YP – Mississippi cities begin implementing mask mandates with rise in cases

Mississippi cities have begun to respond to the increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the state. While many are now operating as normal without additional orders from the Governor’s office, some have chosen to implement mask mandates…

…The MSDH recently recommended that schools require everyone, including those who have already been vaccinated, to wear masks indoors at all times. However, Governor Reeves has said he will not be issuing mandates.

MSDH COVID-19 Reporting

YP – State Board of Education asks Governor to declare state of emergency in Holmes County Consolidated School District

Today the the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) met and determined that an extreme emergency situation exists in the Holmes County Consolidated School District.

“State law requires the Board to intervene when conditions in a district reach a crisis level that jeopardizes the safety, security and educational interests of students,” said Rosemary Aultman, SBE chair. “Every student in the Holmes County Consolidated School District deserves a safe, secure and high-quality learning environment; therefore, the Board has carried out its responsibility.”

Yesterday the Commission on School Accreditation determined an emergency exists in the Holmes County Consolidated School District (HCCSD) that jeopardizes the safety, security, and educational interests of the children enrolled in the schools in the district.

Governor attends Big M groundbreaking

YP – Wicker, Hyde-Smith praise efforts to correct erosion at Natchez National Cemetery

The Mississippi lawmakers worked with the Veteran Affairs Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and city officials to secure the contract, which was expedited after federal officials in mid-July designated serious erosion at the cemetery as an emergency.

Due to recent severe storms, continuous erosion problems have been magnified at the Natchez National Cemetery and has claimed about 10 feet of bluff over the Mississippi River.

The $9.1 million project will secure the bluffs along the western edge of the cemetery’s new extension similar to the bluff stabilization methods used along other bluffs. The project will entail stabilization of the west and south reaches of the national cemetery.

FOXNEWS – Mississippi parents demand governor ban mask mandates after superintendent overrules school board

A group of parents in Mississippi are asking Gov. Tate Reeves to ban mask mandates after a superintendent in the state overrode the school district’s board, which had voted to make mask wearing optional.

Former Trump-era Environmental Protection Agency chief of staff Mandy Gunasekara and other parents are organizing to petition Reeves to sign an executive order banning mask mandates in the state, similar to Texas and other states.

“We are asking the Governor of the state to step up and protect the citizens of this state from local officials using COVID as a mechanism for control rather than figuring out the best, most informed path for protection,” Gunasekara told Fox News in a Monday email…

…Parents are also called on in the email to call Reeves “and voice your emphatic support on a new executive order, similar to that in Florida, Texas and other states that protect personal and parental liberties relative to mask mandates.”