BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Bentonville Schools Board of Education has appealed the judge’s decision to grant a temporary restraining order against the school’s mask mandate.
On October 6, Benton County Circuit Judge Xollie Duncan granted the temporary injunction, stopping the mask requirement on Wednesday, October 8.
Three Bentonville Schools parents initially filed the lawsuit back on August 18, just a little more than a week after the school board voted 5-2 to institute a mask mandate for kids age three and up.
The injunction granted by the judge stated that school boards do not possess the authority to issue mandates or face coverings.
According to a press release from Bentonville Schools, the board believes the precedent set by the judge undermines a school board’s authority to keep students safe in a “myriad of situations.”
“This isn’t about face coverings. Some members of this board voted against the face covering mandate for Bentonville Schools,” said Eric White, President of the Bentonville Schools Board, “But we’re committed in our belief that a school board must be in a position to determine policy and procedures without having those decisions voided any time an individual disagrees.”
School boards are tasked with determining hundreds of issues, including security procedures, dress codes and course offerings, according to the press release from the school.
“School board members are elected to act in the best interest of a school district,” said Superintendent Dr. Debbie Jones. “This ruling allows a group of parents to challenge any decision simply because it doesn’t make sense for their families. The reality is a district must operate with all students in mind.”