WHITE HALL, Ark – When the school bell rings Wednesday, students in White Hall will walk the campus with a mask on.
The school board voted unanimously Tuesday to keep its mask mandate in place.
The decision, however, did not come without some pushback from parents.
“Do better by doing what’s right,” one parent who was against the mask mandate said.
The board allowed six people on each side of the issue to speak before the board and share their opinion about what they feel the district should do moving forward.
Each person was given five minutes to speak.
Those against the mandate said they wanted to be able to make their own decision for their children on whether or not they wear a mask.
“Every child is different, every child has medical needs, learning needs and stick a mask on them inhibits a lot of those things,” said one parent who was against the mask mandate.
At one point, a mother presented a photo of her child’s mask to the board. She said it was taken after a day at school, claiming her child had dropped it on the ground, washed it in the bathroom sink and then put it back on. The parent said it did no good at that point protecting her child from illness.
“You the members of the board have decided that this is a healthy choice for my child,” the parent said.
On the other side of the issue, parents who were in favor of the mask mandate said numbers of cases in masking districts tell the story compared to those who don’t have a mandate in place.
“Credible scientific evidence shows it greatly reduces the risk of transmission. There’s no debating that,” one parent in favor of the mask mandate said.
Parents in favor say masks help keep quarantine numbers down and keep students in school.
“That’s where they need to be academically, socially, and for their good mental health,” another parent in favor of the mandate said.
The board in the end decided to keep the mask mandate in place until further notice.