Masks will become part of a school district dress code this fall to bypass Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on mask warrants.
The Paris Independent School District announced the change in his dress code on Tuesday, the same day the Republican governor revealed he had tested positive for coronavirus.
Abbott issued an executive order in July banning school districts and local governments from making face covering mandatory. He came up with a fine of $ 1,000 for the violations.
At a recent board meeting, the Paris Independent School District noted that Abbott did not have the authority to govern or oversee the management of public schools in the district, allowing them to add masks to the dress code.
“Nothing in Gov.’s Executive Order 38 indicates that it suspended Chapter 11 of the Texas Education Code, and therefore the board chose to change its dress code in accordance with its statutory authority,” the board said. administration in a press release.
The district “believes the dress code can be used to alleviate communicable health problems,” NPR reported. The change in dress code is not permanent and will be reviewed at each monthly school board meeting.
While the Paris Independent School District was able to bypass the governor’s decree, a group representing disabled Texans is suing Abbott and Texas Education Agency commissioner Mike Morath over the rule.
Disability Rights Texas, a federally appointed disability legal and rights agency for Texans, filed a lawsuit Tuesday night on behalf of 14 children and their families, ABC 13 reported.
“Under (Abbott’s) order, the parents of these children are faced with an untenable choice: to educate their children in school and expose them to potential serious illness, long COVID and even death or keep their children. children at home, where they will receive a fraction of their education in one of the least integrated settings available with little or no exposure to non-disabled peers, ”said attorney Tom Melsheimer of Winston & Strawn, a company volunteer who lodged the complaint.
The lawsuit claims Abbott’s Executive Order 38, which prevents local Texas governments from implementing mask warrants, puts students with disabilities at risk.
Abbott, who has strongly opposed face masks, was infected with Covid-19 days after a campaign event with a large unmasked crowd at the Republican Club of Heritage Ranch in north Dallas.
The 63-year-old governor is said to have taken a third booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
“Governor Abbott is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, in good health and currently has no symptoms,” Abbott’s office said in a statement on Tuesday.
Despite Abbott’s mask ban, local leaders in cities like Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin have defied the order, leaving their mask mandates in place, NPR reported.
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