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Former Navajo Nation attorney general leads effort to bring back FUSD mask mandate

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Associated Press | Jae C. Hong
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The former attorney general of the Navajo Nation, Ethel Branch, is leading an effort to reinstate a mask mandate in the Flagstaff Unified School District. Last week she sent a letter signed by dozens of other people to the district’s governing board and superintendent asking them to return to mandatory masking in schools.

The former attorney general of the Navajo Nation is leading an effort to reinstate a mask mandate in the Flagstaff Unified School District.

Ethel Branch last week sent a letter to the district’s governing board and superintendent asking them to return to mandatory masking in schools.

The board voted last month to rescind the mandate that had been in place since the beginning of the school year.

But Branch says officials provided little notice of the meeting and no meaningful opportunity for parents and others to weigh in.

She calls the 3-2 vote by the board to end the mandate reckless and irresponsible.

FUSD officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

COVID-19 cases have plummeted across the state since mid-January.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coconino County falls into the medium COVID community level, which the agency says allows officials to consider lifting mask mandates in schools.