Emmitt Othell Maxey, 79

Born June 23, 1942

Died October 20, 2021

Charles Alonzo Wright, 88

Born December 22, 1932

Died October 19, 2021

Gordon "Jack" Morrow, 87

Born June 1, 1934

Died October 18, 2021

Deann D. Gist, 52

Born March 13, 1969

Died October 17, 2021

Marvin Henry Gilliland, 74

Born November 17, 1946

Died October 17, 2021


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Wednesday, September 22, 2021, 9:38 AM

Muskogee Public Schools’ board last night passed a mask mandate for all Muskogee schools, starting today, in defiance of a state law forbidding districts from mandating masks.

Exemptions are made for health reasons or strongly-held personal beliefs, according to a release from the district. Those wishing to exercise those exemptions must fill out forms from the schools, available at

As COVID-19 and its Delta variant surge, infections are increasing, and this round, children are suffering symptoms and even dying.

“Since school started on August 24th, a number of factors have changed surrounding masks in schools,” Superintendent Jarod Mendenhal said. “A judge issued a temporary injunction regarding the state law that prohibited mask mandates for schools. We have also followed the COVID data within our district and have seen a steady number of positive cases. With those factors, we felt that it was the right thing to do to bring to the Board of Education the opportunity to have an open discussion regarding masks.”