Quarantine Exemption Guidelines

A letter sent to the Board of Education members this morning may help community members understand why our local legislators’ push-back against face masks and our governor’s “opt out” order have created more than just chaos. They have created a situation that is causing students and teachers to become ill, isolate, and miss class time far more than would be necessary if mask requirements and other protocols were in place for students in Knox County

It is almost as if our legislature and governor are setting schools up to fail. Would they really go to these lengths and endanger students all over Tennessee, just to give themselves something to “fix” prior to their elections this summer.

My Grandaddy used to say,
“If it looks like a duck… QUACK!!!”

Dr. Cayce’s letter is here:

Dear Mr. Superintendent and Board

I was reviewing quarantining guidelines on the Knox County website and found the following document:

Releasing Cases & Contacts from Isolation & Quarantine

It includes a recent update on 08/13/21 that includes a quarantine exception for K – 12 classrooms. Indicating the update occurred after your last board meeting.  I included the exception from the document below:

In the K-12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3-6 feet of an infected student (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) where:

• Both students were engaged in consistent and correct use of well-fitting face masks; and

• Other K-12 school prevention strategies (such as universal and correct mask use, physical distancing, increased ventilation) were in place in the K-12 school setting.

Current policies on “parental choice” exclude KCS students from meeting this exception. This argument is purely partisan politics.

The exemption from quarantine conditions aligns with published research and real-life experiments on children imposed by different Education Boards. The North Carolina sponsored study shows universal masking is the key intervention.

ABC’s Final Report June 2021

You can achieve compliance with the quarantine exception by implementing universal masking and other preventative measures (some currently implemented and some not). I understand the governor’s EO; however, I dare him to do something about it. I am convinced a universal masking policy will stand up in the court of law and represents the key to keeping students in class, safely, where they can learn.

I believe the board should call an emergency meeting to discuss this updated guidance from the State Board of Health and provided by the Knox County Board of Health.  KCS currently ignores the guidance.

Masking only works if it is applied UNIVERSALLY.

Jonathan Cayce, Ph.D.

KCS Administration Refuses to Follow Board Vote

When a Superintendent presents an opening plan to a school board for a vote of adoption, one would expect the Superintendent and his administrative staff to also support that plan. This has not been the case in Knox County Schools. Not only has the plan been changed (without a Board vote) multiple times, but members

Continue reading KCS Administration Refuses to Follow Board Vote


I am very humbled by the outpouring of support that continued through my fist term and into the campaign for a second term.

As the world changes, we must remain steadfast in our resolve to support students in our public schools and to reject attempts to divert our public tax dollars to private institutions. As

Continue reading THANK YOU!

Letter to my Neighbors 2020

Dear Neighbor Letter 2020

Campaign Kickoff 2020!

Please join the Owen4Schools Team

for a

Campaign Kick-off Reception/Meet & Greet

this Saturday afternoon, January 11th

from 2-4pm

at the

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Questions on Release Time Policy III - Draft Policy for Dec 4

The following is the draft “Released Time” policy, with questions interspersed. The policy language is in black text and the questions are in blue text. I will post answers in green text as soon as they are given.

* A new version of this policy was sent

Continue reading Questions on Release Time Policy III – Draft Policy for Dec 4

Questions on a Released Time Policy II - Teacher Perspective

There have been many questions regarding a potential policy for KCS to allow “released time for religious moral instruction.” This is part II in a series of posts to consider those questions.


What are teachers saying about the possibility of the Knox County Board of Education adopting a “released time” policy?

Continue reading Questions on a Released Time Policy II – Teacher Perspective

Questions on Released Time Policy

There have been many questions regarding a potential policy for KCS to allow “released time for religious moral instruction.” Some of those questions will be covered in this and subsequent posts. If you have other questions, please post them in the comments or email your Knox County Board of Education members.

Continue reading Questions on “Released Time” Policy I

Knox County BOE Considers Release Time

There is some confusion regarding the Knox County Board of Education’s consideration of a “Released Time” policy.

This is a policy discussion – NOT a discussion regarding the merits of a program. Once the policy is in place, ANY program can take time from instruction at ANY Knox County school. The Board of Education cannot

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TVA Tower Doesn't Meet District Needs

There are a lot of high-powered people working very hard to convince the public that moving the Knox County Schools Administrative Offices and the Board of Education into the TVA East Tower is a great deal. It seems that they believe convincing the public will, in turn, pressure the Board of Education to accept this

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