Hamilton County Schools' mask policy taking heat from parents on both sides of debate

Face mask compliance varies by campus at Hamilton County schools

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Justin Wilkins, left, has an exchange with school board member Rhonda Thurman before the start of the school board meeting Thursday. The Hamilton County School Board held a meeting Thursday, August 19, 2021, at the Hamilton County Department of Education.

The percentage of students opted out by their parents from the mask requirement in Hamilton County Schools ranges from less than 1% on some campuses to more than 50% on others, according to district data as of Wednesday.

The districtwide average of opt-outs is 13.49% of students - up from Monday's average of about 10%.

As of Wednesday, Sale Creek Middle/High School has an opt-out rate above 50% of students, and other schools with more than one-third of students opting out are Sequoyah High School, Soddy Daisy High School, Loftis Middle School, Soddy Daisy Middle School and Signal Mountain Middle/High School.

On the opposite end, several elementary and middle schools reported no opt-outs at all: Barger Academy, Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy, Clifton Hills Elementary, East Lake Elementary, Hardy Elementary, Orchard Knob Middle and Tyner Middle Academy.