Arkansas school district heads back to school amid Delta variant surge

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 4:58 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2021 at 6:39 AM CDT
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MARION, Ark. (WMC) - The summer is coming to an end for students in the Marion school district. For the second year, students will be returning in the midst of a pandemic.

This school year, students will not have to wear masks. The Marion School district has made it optional. This is because of a state-wide law that prevents school districts from mandating masks in the classroom.

Monday, the district is also going back to 100% in-person learning.

Some parents are concerned about the rise in COVID-19 cases in Arkansas, and vaccination rates only being at 27% in Crittenden County.

Many children are not old enough to be vaccinated and some parents feel better knowing there will be staff that have gotten vaccinated

“I feel that the adult population that are going to be interacting with my children are mostly vaccinated,” said parent Michelle Schwartz.

Superintendent Glen Fenter also says vaccines are not required for staff, but staff will be rewarded with a $200 stipend to spend over the Labor Day holiday.

Democratic lawmakers from the state are urging Governor Asa Hutchinson to lift the ban preventing schools from requiring masks, but Hutchinson says he wants to focus on vaccinations.

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