EL DORADO, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) 7/23/21 — School is less than a month away from the start of the fall semester and one Arkansas lawyer is taking legal action against the state’s ban on mask mandates.
Tom Mars, an attorney from northwest Arkansas, is challenging the ban which Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law in April.
Act 1002, sponsored Senator Trent Garner of El Dorado, ended mandatory face covering requirements across the state. It prohibited state and local governments from requiring masks, vaccinations against the virus or vaccine passports to access services.
Schools districts also aren’t allowed to make its own mask policies. This comes as the state sees record number of new daily coronavirus cases and hospitliazations.
Mars believes the measure is unconstiutional and plans to represent K-12 parents across the state who attend public schools.
“From my perspective, a successful outcome would be a temporary injunction and a ruling from a Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge declaring thatAct 1002 violates the Arkansas Constitution and is therefore null and void. In that event, school superintendents, school boards and other public officials across the ate would be free to implement mask mandates in their discretion,” Mars stated in the letter.
Mars declined an interview to focus on the lawsuit but some parents say they are worried about the upcoming school year if masks aren’t enforced.