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Parents, students react to Knox County Schools being closed Monday

"There are a lot of students who don't want to wear a mask and students who think everyone should be wearing a mask."

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Classes are cancelled Monday for Knox County Schools students. 

Knox County School District said it's taking the time to work with staff on making sure everyone is ready to return masked Tuesday.

Parents found out through an email that was sent around 6 p.m. Sunday.

Some parents and guardians are wondering why the district made the decision so late. For some, there's confusion. There is also a last minute scramble to find child care.

As of Monday at 4 a.m., WBIR has not heard back from KCS regarding why the decision was made so late.

"I don't I don't think anyone was expecting them to close school on either sides," L&N STEM Academy junior Ethan Lindsey said.

Lindsey understands the polarization of the situation; however, he does not understand why his education is being put on hold for a day.

"I'm just not sure what the point of canceling school is. It seems like a pretty simple ask, that the judges telling us to enforce a mass policy. And we already did it last year. So I don't see a problem with doing it again," Lindsey said.

RELATED: KCS Superintendent: All Knox County students, visitors and employees must wear face masks indoors

"It was not a surprise to me that they were unprepared to implement that quickly and nimbly," mother of three, Amanda Collins, said.

Collins has been a steadfast advocate for a KCS mask policy all year.

"It is not even necessarily having to create something from scratch, it is literally putting into place what we did last year and what worked," Collins said.

While Collins is happy to hear that there will be a mask mandate inside KCS, other parents are not so thrilled with the news.

Hundreds of parents gathered at John Bynon Park on Sunday afternoon to create a plan of action in protest to the federal order.

RELATED: Knox Co. school bus drivers demand more support to enforce mask mandate, threaten to stop services

Some called for blocking the entrances to the schools Monday. Others said they adamantly opposed such a move.

Lindsey says it's also polarizing for the students.

"There are a lot of students who don't want to wear a mask and students who think everyone should be wearing a mask," Lindsey said.

However, Lindsey said he feels like the students are more cordial when it comes to their differences.

"I think the students are a little more of a sound mind. So it's interesting to see how all the adults are acting with the whole thing," Lindsey said.

All of this comes after Knox county bus drivers threatened to stop their routes because of the mask mandate, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has required.

Students will be back in class Tuesday.