School board suspended for not requiring masks

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Sixth-grader Adriana Campbell, 11, jots down her name as she starts to work on her first assignment during the first day of school on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021 at Freeman Elementary School in Flint, Mich. “I’m excited to learn. I love math,” she said. “When I woke up today, I couldn’t wait to get to school. I can’t wait to make new friends.” (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A rural New Mexico school board has been suspended by the state Public Education Department for not going along with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s mask mandate for children as schools prepare for classes to resume.

The five-member Floyd school board voted last week to make masks and social distancing optional in the district, which has about 225 students. The board reaffirmed the decision in another vote Monday despite warnings from state officials that it could face suspension.

Education Secretary Ryan Stewart announced the decision Wednesday, saying the state agency has a responsibility to ensure a healthy environment for all staff and students.

Some of New Mexico’s largest districts already have imposed the state’s guidelines, but critics have raised concerns about parents not being given a choice.

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