Parents file motion against Fort Smith School District to lift mask mandate

·1 min read
The Fort Smith Public School Service Center pictured July 12. The Board of Education meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the Service Center Auditorium, located in Building B of the Service Center.
The Fort Smith Public School Service Center pictured July 12. The Board of Education meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the Service Center Auditorium, located in Building B of the Service Center.

A group of parents requested that the Sebastian County Circuit Court lift the Fort Smith School District's mask mandate.

Lacy McCain, Rebekah Travis, Brittney Hall and Tara Mendoza filed a motion for temporary restraining order and brief in support requesting that a judge remove the mask mandate put in place by the Fort Smith School Board.

The group of parents is represented by Gregory Payne and Travis Story of the Story Law Firm out of Fayetteville. The pair filed the motion Jan. 13. There has yet to be a ruling on the matter, according to the circuit clerk's office.

The school board chose to approve the mask mandate Jan. 10 in a vote of 4-2. The mandate is slotted to last for 30 days.

According to the motion, the parents have to mask their children against their will or risk their students' expulsions.

The motion claims that the mandate is violating the parents' constitutional rights.

"Each day that the respondents mandate that school children wear face masks or be expelled from school under the board's mask mandate is a day that said constitutional rights are violated..." according to the motion.

The Story Law Firm did not respond to requests for comment by the time of publication.

The school district noted that officials were aware of the motion.

"We are aware of the recent lawsuit filed and our legal counsel is in process of reviewing the details," according to a statement form the district.

Alex Gladden is a University of Arkansas graduate. She previously reported for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and The Jonesboro Sun before joining the Times Record. She can be contacted at agladden@swtimes.com.

This article originally appeared on Fort Smith Times Record: Parents file motion against Fort Smith schools to lift mask mandate

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