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Thu, Aug. 05

Williams Unified School District removes student mask mandate

Williams Unified School District Governing Board met April 22 and decided to discontinue the mask requirement at the schools. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

Williams Unified School District Governing Board met April 22 and decided to discontinue the mask requirement at the schools. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — School districts around the state are either keeping or abolishing their mask mandates in response to Governor Doug Ducey rescinding an executive order April 19 that required face masks to be worn inside K-12 schools.

However, the executive order delegates the authority to mandate face coverings to individual school districts.

Ducey said his decision was based on updated guidance from the CDC, and the number of people who’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Teachers, families and students have acted responsibly to mitigate the spread of the virus and protect one another, and our school leaders are ready to decide if masks should be required on their campuses. We will continue to work with public health professionals and Arizona’s schools as more students return to the classroom and our state moves forward,” Ducey said.

Williams Unified School District Governing Board met April 22 and decided to discontinue the mask requirement at the schools.

“Going forward, masks will be optional....an individual or parental choice,” said WUSD Acting Superintendent Eric Evans. “WUSD2 wants to remind everyone that our expectation is to be tolerant and accepting of those that wish to continue to wear masks.”

Evans also reminded families that staff members and administrators cannot require or compel any student or fellow staff member to wear a mask.

Gov. Doug Ducey’s decision was not endorsed by Arizona Schools Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman.

Chino Valley Unified School District Superintendent John Scholl suspended the mask April 20, although he made it clear that masks are still encouraged and the school will provide them for anyone who wants one.

Prescott Unified School District also announced that the mask requirement was to be lifted, although still recommended.

Flagstaff Unified School District plans to continue requiring masks, as does Verde Valley School District.

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