Fort Smith Board of Education implements 30-day mask mandate | #Education

The Fort Smith Public Schools Board of Education voted Monday night to mandate masks for staff, students and visitors.

The board voted, 4-2, in favor of a 30-day mandate. The superintendent has the power to end if case numbers go below 50 cases per 10,000 residents based on Arkansas Center for Health Improvement data.

Board members Troy Eckelhoff and Susan McFerran voted against the motion.

District parents shared their thoughts on a potential mandate.

Local educator and parent Matthew Graham spoke against a mandate and likened it to a new form of segregation being supported by the U.S. Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and the Biden Administration.

Graham referenced the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in voicing opposition to the mandate.

“I hope I could say I would have stood with prophet King in his day if I had been alive,” Graham said. “What about you? Would you stand with prophet King to remove segregation? Or would you stand with a new segregation based on vaccination status, which so clearly violates our 4th Amendments rights?”

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