Central Arkansas parents push back against school mask mandates

Education

WHITE HALL, Ark. – Mask mandates are beginning to be challenged in the state. 

Parents in Bentonville have sued the school district because of the implementation of a mask mandate. 

Parents in Cabot and White Hall are now voicing their concerns on the matter as well. 

Laura Golden has four kids in the White Hall School District and she says she’s not against wearing masks but does not think it should be mandated. 

“I think it’s everybody’s individual choice, if you feel safe wearing a mask wherever you go then that’s great wear a mask, if you don’t there shouldn’t be an issue with that,” she said. 

She believes masking should be up to the parents of kids.  She said in the past they have been given a choice on health matters in school and nobody has raised concerns until Covid. 

“Just like with the flu shots, when the school sent out the flu shot it’s not mandatory, you choose what is it you think is best for your child. You sign it, your child gets a shot at school, if not, they don’t, there’s no issue around that,” she explained. 

Melissa Bosch is helping spearhead parents’ efforts in Cabot schools and has three children who are in the district. 

She thinks Cabot has passed a mandate to say they have one. 

Her biggest issue is she does not think the district allowed for there to be enough parent discussion on the matter before the mandate was passed by a unanimous vote. 

“I think if it was an open forum where we got to talk about it instead of giving us this generic questionnaire at the last minute, I think they gave us 10 hours to open the email and actually answer, I think that would be fine,” Bosch said. 

Golden said the inconsistencies with where and how masks are and should be worn is confusing. 

“Covid does not just exist in the classroom,” she said. 

Bosch believes it’s those inconsistencies in enforcement and quarantining guidelines that have parents feeling this is may not be worth it. 

“I think that’s where a lot of parents are just saying ‘OK enough is enough.’ Just because a mask makes you feel better doesn’t mean it’s needed,” she said. 

Several parents in Cabot schools are in the process of filing a lawsuit against the district. When asked about it, Liz Massey with Cabot Schools says the district has not been made aware of any lawsuit and had no comment on the matter. 

There is a regularly scheduled school board meeting for Cabot being held on Tuesday where the mask mandate will be discussed. 

Cabot School District has also added a dashboard on their website that does show how many students have avoided quarantine because of the mask mandate. CLICK HERE

Golden has delivered a notarized petition to the school district calling for a special meeting of the school board to discuss the issue. 

The district will be meeting with parents next week and are encouraging anyone who wishes to speak at the meeting to sign up to speak on their website by Friday. 

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