Coronavirus Coverage from KARK

Harmony Grove School District rescinds mask mandate for students, staff

Coronavirus

CAMDEN, Ark. — The Harmony Grove School Board in Camden Arkansas has voted to rescind its mask mandate for students and staff.

The vote happened a week after the district initially voted to enact a mask mandate.

On Friday, the majority of students and staff weren’t wearing masks.

Harmony Grove School District Superintendent Dr. Albert Snow said 90 percent of the district’s staff and faculty were against the mask mandate. Out of half of the district’s parents who responded to their email survey, 70 percent said they were against the mask mandate.

Teachers told Dr. Snow they had a difficult time enforcing mask wearing, especially with younger children.

He said despite no masks being required, they are still following other CDC guidelines.

“We are still doing some of that. We are not eating breakfast in the cafeteria, we’re doing that in the classroom, we’re maintaining 6 foot apart in classrooms as much as possible, doing all the disinfecting and cleaning,” Dr. Snow said.

He said they are of course worried, but said they’ve been handling things well. He also credits that they have about 950 students, so it’s a small district and it helps with social distancing.

Last year Dr. Snow said there weren’t as many parents against the mask mandate but things have changed.

He said the district last hear did not have a single case in their schools, so he hopes things could stay the same this year.

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