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Arkansas judge blocks state from enforcing mask mandate ban

The decision came shortly after Arkansas lawmakers left the ban in place, ending a session Hutchinson called to consider rolling it back for some schools.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this July 29, 2021 file photo, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson stands next to a chart displaying COVID-19 hospitalization data as he speaks at a news conference at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. Arkansas lawmakers are leaving the state's mask mandate ban in place, ending a special session called to revisit the prohibition for schools because of the state's COVID-19 surge. The majority-Republican Legislature on Friday, Aug. 6, adjourned the session that GOP Gov. Hutchinson had called to consider rolling back the ban for some schools. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas judge has temporarily blocked the state from enforcing a law that prevents schools and other governmental agencies from requiring masks.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge, Tim Fox on Thursday issued a preliminary injunction against the law Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed in April. 

Fox’s decision came shortly after Arkansas lawmakers left the ban in place, ending a session Hutchinson called to consider rolling it back for some schools.

Hutchinson says the change is needed to protect children under 12 who can’t get vaccinated as the state’s virus cases and hospitalizations skyrocket.

The Bentonville Schools Board of Education will meet Wednesday, August 11 at 5:30 P.M. to consider possible revisions to the district’s current stance on face coverings. This meeting comes in response to Judge Fox’s temporary injunction against an Arkansas law that prohibits government entities, including school districts, from imposing a mask mandate on students and staff. 

The process for public comment will be modified for this meeting. Those modifications can be viewed here.

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