The University of South Carolina has cancelled their mask mandate for this fall after the attorney general wrote them a letter saying it was discriminatory and against the law.
The issue may now be heading to the Supreme Court.
Attorney General Alan Wilson tweeted a copy of the letter, writing “Today, my office issued guidance on COVID policies from the University of South Carolina, at the request of members of the legislature. Our guidance made clear the COVID Vaccine cannot be used as a condition of enrollment.”
We asked that UofSC offer clarification their policy follows state law. Finally, relating to the recently announced masking requirements, we asked that UofSC revise their policy comply with legislative intent.
Read the letter below. pic.twitter.com/Ln0yyLOUwx
— Alan Wilson (@AGAlanWilson) August 3, 2021
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“We asked that UofSC offer clarification their policy follows state law. Finally, relating to the recently announced masking requirements, we asked that UofSC revise their policy comply with legislative intent,” Wilson continued.
The letter stated that the Legislature has sided with “a student’s liberty interests.”
“The Legislature possesses the ultimate authority over health policy and has prohibited mandatory vaccinations and masking at schools and colleges, siding with a student’s liberty interests,” Wilson said in the letter.
“One reasonable interpretation is to prohibit discrimination by requiring masks for the unvaccinated,” he wrote, but noted that they could not require only unvaccinated students to wear masks.
USC reversed the mask mandate following the letter.
“In light of this…the university will not require anyone to wear face coverings in our buildings, except when in university health care facilities and when utilizing campus public transportation, effective August 3,” USC President Harris Pastides said in a statement to The State. “We continue to strongly encourage the use of face coverings indoors, except in private offices or residence hall rooms or while eating in campus dining facilities.”
Campus Reform reports that Wilson has asked the South Carolina Supreme Court to make a ruling on whether the University of South Carolina can implement a mask mandate.
“The Supreme Court will soon decide whether or not to hear the case and could choose to hold a hearing in the near future. The suit points out that the issue is time-sensitive since students return to classes on Aug. 19,” the report states.