Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk’s efforts to keep kids safe during the COVID -19 pandemic was highlighted nationally in Huffpost.com in 2021.
General Funk stated he would not prosecute teachers or school officials who enforce mask mandates during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The move was in defiance of a 2021 order from Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, who stated that students can ‘opt-out’ of wearing masks, even in local school districts like Nashville enforce such measures.
DA Funk offered his assurance to school board member Emily Masters who noted that Tennessee law includes a Class A misdemeanor — punishable by up to a year in jail — for “any person or representative thereof violating any order, rule or regulation” under an emergency declaration, like the one in place for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funk responded, “I will not prosecute school officials or teachers for keeping children safe.”
Nashville Mayor John Cooper was equally upset over the Governor’s executive order, stating that it “undermines a long-held trust that local governments know what’s best for their communities.”