SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Some parents and teachers are glad the mask mandate for Kindergarten – 7th grade is over, while others are concerned it could lead to more COVID-19 cases in the district.
At Tuesday’s meeting, multiple parents spoke in favor of letting the mask mandate for younger kids expire and cheered when the board made it official. However, one Springdale parent and former teacher, Robert Beard, is worried about the decision.
“I’m just really concerned about a lot of the other teachers that are my friends and that I taught with for the past 12 years and my students that are still there,” Beard said.
Beard taught 8th and 9th grade and resigned from his position in August when the school board decided to not enact a mask requirement for older grades. He did it to protect his daughter, who has a heart condition, from the delta variant. Beard now homeschools his kids because of COVID-19, but knows that’s not a plausible option for everyone.
“We have a lot of single parents that are parents of our students and teachers also that don’t have an option either financially or the ability or otherwise.”
Trent Jones, communications director with the district, said the decision to mask up is now in the hands of families.
As of Monday, according to the Arkansas Department of Health, Springdale Public Schools, ranks third in the state when it comes to active COVID-19 cases.