Gov. Lee's executive order declares that a student's parent or guardian shall have the right to opt out of any order or requirement for a student in K-12 to wear a face mask at school, on a school bus or at school functions. (Photo: Twitter)

Declaring that, “No one cares more about the health & well-being of a child than a parent,” Gov. Bill Lee has signed an executive order built upon that stance.

“I am signing an EO (executive order) today (Aug. 16) that allows parents to opt their children out of a school mask mandate if either a school board or health board enacts one over a district,” Lee posted on his Twitter account Monday afternoon.

Lee’s pronouncement comes amid calls from some Republican leaders for him to call a special session to counter mask mandates.

He also addressed that via social media:

“Districts will make the decisions they believe are best for their schools, but parents are THE authority & will be the ultimate decision-makers for their individual child’s health & well-being. I will not be calling a special session at this time.”

Rep. Antonio Parkinson of Memphis, chairman of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State legislators, issued a stated calling the executive order “irresponsible.”

“The goal is to stop the spread of the virus in Tennessee,” said Parkinson. “This executive order in no way will curb the spread of the virus. As a matter of fact, it may accelerate the spread of Covid in our state.”