Gov. Henry McMaster orders SC schools closed for the rest of the school year

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster(WRDW)
Published: Apr. 22, 2020 at 9:02 AM EDT
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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

COLUMBIA, SC (WRDW/WAGT) -- South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and state Education Superintendent Molly Spearman have decided to keep schools closed for the rest of the school year.

Spearman made the announcement with McMaster on Wednesday.

“The schools are the backbone of the community and, when they’re closed, all of us hurt,” Spearman said. “The children want to go to school. The parents want them to go to school. Teachers want to be there with their children and we want to see them growing and learning.”

With physical schools now closed, South Carolina students will fully transition to online learning until each district's last scheduled day of school.

McMaster praised the work of students and teachers over the past several weeks even after state officials moved to close schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It has been remarkable to see the effort that has been made -- the highly successful effort," McMaster said. "I’ve never seen anything quite like it to see that all of our students have educational advantages at home."

Spearman said that she was going to be there for parents and students in the weeks ahead.

"We're going to continue to support you with good ol' common sense policies," Spearman said.

Spearman also discussed likely canceled or re-imagined graduation ceremonies for the class of 2020.

“I’ve gotten some very articulate, heartwrenching begs and pleas to let us have a graduation ceremony," Spearman said. "The governor and I absolutely want that to happen. I can tell you your district leaders have sent us some very creative ideas of how they’re planning on handling graduation and we want those to go out, and I hope that, perhaps, I can even come and be there and attend and see some of those from a distance happening.”

Meanwhile, McMaster has already begun to re-open several businesses across the state along with beaches.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. WIS contributed to this report. All rights reserved.