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First Oklahoma school district defies state law, enacts mask mandate

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Posted at 2:00 PM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 15:11:18-04

OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma City-area charter school district announced a mask mandate for students and staff on Wednesday, openly defying the state's ban on mask requirements.

Sante Fe South Schools Superintendent Chris Brewster sent a letter to families saying that as of Aug. 12, masks will be required for all students and staff while at school or at school-related activities whenever indoors and in close contact -- 3-5 feet-- for more than 15 minutes.

"I have carefully considered the ramifications of both requiring masks and in not requiring them," Brewster says.

"I am aware that I am personally responsible for either decision."

Oklahoma lawmakers enacted a ban on mask and vaccination requirements at schools in the state that took effect July 1.

Schools could retain local control of those requirements if the governor declared a state of emergency.

Sante Fe South is the first district in the state to ignore the state's ban.

Those with medical conditions that make them unable to wear masks won't have to if they provide a physician’s documentation.

Brewster says students who don't want to wear masks will be able to have online instruction, and parents with any issues can email him directly.

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