Bentonville Parents for Choice won a lawsuit against the Bentonville School District Wednesday after a circuit court judge placed a temporary restraining order on the school’s mask mandate.
Because of this ruling, beginning on Thursday, Bentonville students will not have to wear masks at school. The judge found that the Bentonville School Board did not have the authority to issue the mask mandate. The suit says only the Governor or the Secretary of State has the legal authority to issue a mask mandate or set the quarantine rules.
The lawsuit was originally filed in the Benton County Circuit Court on Wednesday, August 18, against the Bentonville Public Schools. Parents Matt Sitton, Matthew Bennett and Elizabeth Bennett filed the lawsuit against Bentonville School District, Superintendent Dr. Debbie Jones, the School Board President Eric White, and School Board Members Kelly Carlson, Brent Leas, Matt Burgess, Willie Cowgur, Joe Quinn, and Jennifer Faddis.
Elizabeth Bennett, parent listed in the lawsuit, said she is thankful for today’s ruling. “Lynn Sitton and I prayed before the ruling that God would be present in that room. And He was. We will need His help more than ever, because today’s ruling poked the bear. No more masks for Bentonville Public schools! Judge Duncan addressed each point brought up in the hearing last week and found that BPS has zero legal authority to mandate masks. She said it was an infringement on constitutional rights,” Bennett said.
Parents are standing up and fighting back — claiming these school boards have no authority to issue face coverings for children and that these mandates infringes upon the individual liberties guaranteed to citizens of the State of Arkansas, and moreover, the mask mandate is not based on any authority of the Arkansas Department of Health and is, therefore, unconstitutional as applied to Petitioners and their children.