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Arkansas State Supreme sides with Bentonville School District in mask mandate lawsuit

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Little Rock, Arkansas – The Arkansas State Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Bentonville School District can require students to wear masks.

While inside a school building or school bus, the policy created fall of 2021 required students from grades 3 through grade 12 to wear masks.

Allowances were made for eating, drinking, taking part in gym class, and other certain circumstances.

Base COVID infections dropped by 20 to 25% in the fall 2021 semester because of mask mandates, according to the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement’s president, Joe Thompson.

After the case went to the Arkansas Supreme Court, the court’s majority opinion said that governments have the authority to make public health laws, including those that protect children’s health even against their parent’s wishes.

The Bentonville School District released a public statement after the ruling:

“From the outset of our appeal, we’ve maintained the lower court’s ruling puts school boards and school administrators in a position to face litigation each time a family doesn’t agree with a policy affecting their child. The Arkansas Supreme Court’s ruling reaffirms a school board’s authority to create an environment that protects students, to the best of their ability, while at school.”

 

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