Coronavirus Coverage from KARK

Mask mandate takes center stage at Little Rock School District board meeting

Education

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — To mask or not to mask? That’s the question the Little Rock School District board asked itself Monday night.

The school board voted unanimously to pass a resolution that would have the district petition Arkansas legislators to go back into session in order to overturn a ban on mask mandates in the state, which would allow school leaders to make their own decisions on whether to require masks on school property or not.

The proposal came as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the state, including a rise in serious pediatric cases due to the delta variant of the virus.

“I have so many teachers in the Little Rock School District that are my work family,” Jacqueline Curry, who has children in Little Rock schools, said. “I can’t imagine one of them dying because of this negligence on behalf of our lawmakers.”

Currie said her children will not be going back to in-person instruction this fall due to concerns over their safety during the pandemic. Her children are among the almost 700 students who have already signed up for virtual learning from the district.

The LRSD resolution contends that each community’s case numbers are different and that everything needs to be done to slow the surge in Little Rock.

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