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Pulaski County school board votes to make masks optional

November 10, 2021 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A Little Rock area school district is dropping its mask mandate for students and employees, reversing its previous decision to keep the requirement in place until December.

The Pulaski County Special School District board on Tuesday voted 4-3 to drop the requirement and make masks optional.

The board in October had voted to keep its mandate in place for another 60 days but a group of parents opposed to the requirement petitioned the panel to consider dropping it.

Pulaski County was among more than 100 public school districts and charter schools that required masks after a judge blocked an Arkansas law preventing mask mandates by schools and other governmental entities.

Many of those requirements have been dropped in recent weeks as the state’s COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have dropped.