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Broken Arrow Public Schools to weigh support for potential mask policy after parents, staff surveyed
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Broken Arrow Public Schools to weigh support for potential mask policy after parents, staff surveyed

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1. Broken Arrow Public Schools (copy)

On Friday, officials with Broken Arrow Public Schools confirmed that its board of education will spend part of its regular meeting Monday evening reviewing the results of an internal survey of parents and district employees to gauge support to require masks inside district buildings.

Another suburban school district is weighing an update to its mask policy.

On Friday, officials with Broken Arrow Public Schools confirmed that its board of education will spend part of its regular meeting Monday evening reviewing the results of an internal survey of parents and district employees to gauge support to require masks inside district buildings.

More than 60% of Broken Arrow parents and staff who responded said they were opposed to implementing a mask requirement for staff and students with opt-out provisions for medical, religious or strong personal beliefs.

According to the district, more than 5,000 parents and 1,200 staff members participated in the online survey. The district has 2,353 employees and 19,598 enrolled students.

In order to vote, parents had to provide their child’s student identification number, along with their grade level and name of their child’s school. Employees had to provide their staff identification number.

As of Friday, the district had 82 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among its students, a decrease of about 100 cases since early September.

Among its employees, the district reported 17 cases Friday. The district does not publish close contact exposure data.

At least 25 school districts statewide currently recommend masks, including Tulsa, Jenks, Union, Claremore, Glenpool, Tahlequah, Muskogee, McAlester, Hulbert, Briggs, Keys and Ponca City.

In accordance with a temporary injunction granted by Oklahoma County District Court Judge Natalie Mai, all the districts with a mask requirement allow parents to request in writing that their children be exempted from that policy due to medical concerns, religious beliefs or strongly held personal convictions.

Masks are also required at 10 charter schools across the state, plus Tahlequah Sequoyah, a Bureau of Indian Education school run by the Cherokee Nation through a self-governance agreement.

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My primary beat is public education. I am a third-generation graduate of Oklahoma State University, a board member for Oklahoma SPJ and an active member of the Native American Journalists Association.

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