pic Rick Maxey

Horry County Schools Superintendent Rick Maxey

Horry County Schools Superintendent Rick Maxey attempted to clear up confusion on COVID-19 policies with a video sent to parents Tuesday afternoon. 

"If you want to effect change - your desire for change in these laws is beyond the scope and authority of the Horry County Board of Education. Your many emails and calls to us are not falling on deaf ears. We just do not have the local control to do anything about it," Maxey said in the video. 

Maxey addressed a handful of questions the district was asked recently, but the overall idea was that regardless of what the school district may want to do in helping to prevent the spread of the virus, their hands are tied. 

He said the district and the board of education are doing all they can to address the issues to the extent the state law allows.

Maxey explained the district cannot enact a mask mandate because it would be illegal according to Proviso 1.108 that was recently signed by Governor Henry McMaster saying that no school district can use state funds to mandate masks.

If they do, their state funds could be pulled. 

Regardless of what other districts have done - including the City of Columbia that recently lost its battle in the S.C. Supreme Court over their mask mandate - Maxey said HCS plans to stick to the law.

HCS received $247 million in state funds this past school year to help fund operations, and if these funds were denied, the district would be in a difficult spot. 

"Where would we get a quarter of a billion locally to operate our schools ...?" Maxey said. "Given the [S.C. Supreme Court's] ruling, we do not think it is logical, advisable, or even legal for the school district administration or board to enact a face mask mandate in our schools."

As for plexiglass confusion - the plexiglass was put up after the Centers for Disease Control and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control shared data suggesting physical barriers would help reduce the spread of the virus, Maxey said.

Later in the spring, those same entities shared new science saying that the virus was spread via aerosols in the air, and barriers would not be effective, so they were taken down from HCS schools. 

The plexiglass was recycled and a refund of $164,202 was returned to the district's general fund, HCS spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said last month.

Now the district is moving forward with installing bipolar ionization filters in every school throughout the district to improve air quality.

Maxey said many parents asked why the hybrid schedule was not an option this year, as it was a good way to help reduce the spread as well. 

He said he agreed that it might be a good idea, but that state law prohibits the district from doing a hybrid schedule, and five-day instruction is what is required. 

"I hope that it is clear that locally our school district and board are limited in what we can do to address the spread due to specific state laws that restrict us on actions we may have taken on a local level in the past," Maxey said. 

He reiterated that the district will continue to adhere to the previous guidance of student mask-wearing on buses, and while vaccines are a personal choice, he said, they will continue to make vaccination opportunities available to the school communities. 

Maxey said he hoped that the recent shortening of quarantines would reduce the amount of time that students are physically out of school. 

As of Tuesday afternoon, the HCS COVID-19 dashboard showed a total of 696 positive cases of the virus among students and staff, with 9,700 students in quarantine. 

View Maxey's full video here

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(2) comments

Crescent Beach Guy

Spoken like a true liberal, Claudemarc. Void of fact and filled with emotional gibberish. First, the evidence is finally becoming more widely available that the Nov 2020 election was fraudulent (e.g., AZ, GA, and WI). That you have not seen it suggests you only use the same left-leaning media that suppresses facts and spreads fear and falsehood. But how many lies (e.g., Russia, Ukraine, BLM/Antifa riots, 1/6) do they have to tell before you realize they're lying? Are you ok with the media and big tech working so hard to squelch internationally-recognized experts who provide evidence that Fauci and the CDC are ignoring the actual data with their claims that masks work? Are you ok with a policy that pays medical providers more money if they report a death as COVID-related (but not any other virus)? One of my family members died of brain-related issues but because she tested positive with COVID, the nursing home reported her cause of death as COVID even though she had no symptoms. The Republican party does need some work. But thankfully they have more than a few folks effectively educated about the US Constitution (btw, have you read the Constitution?). 2022 will hopefully begin the long-needed culling of RINOs like Mitt Romney, Mike Pence, and Liz Cheney. Finally, look at the CDC data yourself (and perhaps read the fine print about how the data collection methods have changed in the past few months). If you've had at least one college statistics course, you will find that you're being misled by the Administration and the media. The death and infection rates indicate upward trends in the vaccinated and downward trends in the rest of the population. Assuming you paid attention in high school science, what vaccination has ever produced stronger or longer immunity than the actual infection? Assuming you paid attention in middle school math, does it make sense to destroy the lives of school children and working people to address a risk of less than 0.5%? So many like you have swallowed and continue to parrot the fake drama about what is simply another virus that, like all viruses, kills people with co-morbidities. Do you realize total 2020 deaths are on track to the same order of magnitude of deaths in prior years? Like every other falsehood designed to create chaos and fear, time will reveal the truth. Yet you don't take the time to search for the truth yourselves and thus haven't realized you've been had. The real shame is that you're even less likely to ask WHY.

Claudemarc

We understand Mr. SUPERINTENDENT. IT SEEMS REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS and lawmakers across this state ,and other republican controlled states basically want ppl. to fight back like children be cause they lost the elections. In the meantime lives of their constituents are in jeopardy. Does this mean they actually want ppl. to die early ? It sure looks that way. Is it possible they care even less about children. It sure looks that way. The republican party is in a state of total madness. I've never witnessed a cult of leadership, and followers led by trump except the tragedy in Guyana by the Rev. Jim Jones. If this madness is not reversed ,and more ppl. die Republicans will be held responsible ,and their party may never recover. And rightly so. Amen

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