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The Little Rock School District Board extends mask mandate



Little Rock, Arkansas — On Thursday, the Little Rock School District Board voted in favor of a series of resolutions surrounding the district’s COVID-19 response.

The board voted on COVID-19 leave for school staff, furthering the mask mandate in the district, a $50 vaccine incentive for students, as well as a resolution on school calendar makeup days.

According to parents who spoke virtually, they wanted to continue to mask both students and staff.

“Parents who do not want their children to wear masks at school have the option to choose other schooling methods that do not put their kids in contact with others, sometimes hundreds of others, for seven hours a day, five days a week,” Angela Hunter said.

With a vote of six to three and the vote to extend COVID leave was passed unanimously. The board ended up extending the mask mandate to April 14th.

Board members heavily debated the topic of vaccine incentives.

“I see a tremendous ethical dilemma in paying one person, that’s going to be the parent, to make a specific medical decision in a specific direction for someone who cannot give consent or withhold consent to that medical decision,” Jeff Wood said.

The vaccine incentives, depending on participation, could cost the district $350,000 to $500,000 in Esser funds.