mask mandate

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File

A program announced by Arizona’s Republican governor last month giving private school vouchers to students whose parents object to school mask requirements has seen a surge of applications. 


Randy Hoeft/The Yuma Sun via AP, File

School officials say several men threatened to make a citizen’s arrest of an Arizona school principal while at least one brandished cable ties in a confrontation over virus rules. 

A northwestern Arizona school district has banned employees from discussing vaccination status or mask wearing with students. The Mohave Daily News reports the governing board for the Colorado River Union High School District made the decision this week. The edict carries no repercussions for administrators, staff and teachers who violate it. That would be up to the district's superintendent, who supported the motion. The school board's gag rule is rare, even as vaccines and masks remain hot topics across Arizona as students return to school.

Associated Press | Ross Franklin

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday upped the pressure on the growing number of public school districts defying a state ban on mask mandates as they try to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Angela Gervasi / KNAU

Last week, the presidents of Arizona’s three public universities announced they’d require facemasks in classrooms and other indoor spaces as COVID-19 infections surge in the state. It comes amid a heated debate about mask mandates in Arizona schools and follows an executive order by Governor Doug Ducey and a new state law that attempts to prohibit vaccine and mask mandates. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius spoke with Northern Arizona University President José Luis Cruz Rivera about his decision to require masks and the university’s ongoing effort to limit the spread of COVID.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Twenty-six Ariz. Republican lawmakers released a joint statement Wednesday asking Gov. Doug Ducey to withhold federal funding from and take legal action against public school districts that enact mask mandates. The statement also asked Ducey to supply Empowerment Scholarship Accounts to students “trapped within any school district” enacting mask mandates.

Flagstaff Unified School District officials say they’re preparing multiple learning options for students as classes are set to begin next week amid the ongoing pandemic. The district has released plans for in-person instruction, along with an online synchronist system for elementary school students. An additional asynchronous distance learning program will be an option for students from fifth to twelfth grade. The district also plans for temporary remote instruction if necessary.

Angela Gervasi


Public schools across northern Arizona are navigating both state law and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines as students return to the classroom. Officials with the Flagstaff Unified School District say that means recommending — but not mandating — face coverings.

Associated Press | Eric Gay

A Phoenix science teacher is asking a judge to put a halt to a districtwide mask mandate, which goes against a new state law, district officials said Tuesday.

Richard Franco, a spokesman for Phoenix Union High School District, confirmed Douglas Hester’s filing for a temporary restraining order on the mandate. The superintendent and governing board members are named as defendants in the motion.

Sedona officials have dropped the city’s emergency declaration put in place in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.