Bentonville school parents and staff to weigh in on districtwide mask mandate


BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Area students will head back to the classroom in less than a week and several schools are making changes to their policies on masks.

Wednesday, the Bentonville school community will be able to weigh in on whether students and staff must wear masks on campuses within the Bentonville School District.

With the first day of school right around the corner, several schools have decided to mandate face coverings including the Fayetteville School district, and Springdale Public Schools.

This comes after a county circuit court judge filed a temporary injunction blocking ACT 1002. A law that banned state and local governments including schools from requiring people to wear masks.

However, with the surge in covid cases many schools are now opting to have a mask mandate in place.

The Bentonville school district is holding a public input session Wednesday. The first 25 people on both sides of the issue will be allowed to speak and share their views on why masks should or should not be required by students and staff. Each speaker will be given one minute to speak.

The Bentonville school district public input meeting will take place at the Bentonville schools board room, 500 Tiger Blvd, Bentonville. Check-in begins at 5 p.m.

The Fayetteville school board was the first in the area to re-instate a mask mandate for its students and staff indoors. The policy impacts all staff and students, regardless of their vaccinations status.

Springdale Public Schools voted Tuesday to require masks for grades K-12 and make it optional for the upper grades.

Other school districts starting the school year with masks include Farmington School district, Prairie Grove schools, and Eureka Springs.

Local doctors say it is a step in the right direction.

“If one child has a negative outcome from this virus now or later on in life and that case could’ve been prevented by wearing some fabric on your face I think there’s gonna be a lot of regrets that we didn’t do everything we could to keep every child safe,” said Dr. Jason McKinney, Mercy Hospital ICU Medical Director.

The Fort Smith school board put a 60-day mask requirement in place.

The Rogers board of education is holding a special public input meeting Thursday at 5 p.m.. It takes place at the Joye R. Kelley district administrative building.

Gravette school district and Huntsville school districts are asking for feedback from parents and faculty.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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