COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Texas, spurred by the more easily spread Delta variant. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has not budged from his stance on “personal responsibility” stating that “Texans already know what to do” to fight the spread of COVID-19.
No Mask Mandates for Public Schools in Texas.
It's back to school season, and although the updated CDC guidelines recommends masks (especially while indoors or a group setting like a classroom), social distancing, and routine hand-washing, there will be no legally enforced mask mandates in Texas public schools.
Meanwhile, in Texas.
Governor Abbott issued — Texas Executive Order No. GA-38 relating to the continued response to the COVID-19 disaster states that;
“Public schools may operate as provided by, and under the minimum standard health protocols found in, guidance issued by the Texas Education Agency. Private schools and institutions of higher learning are encouraged to establish similar standards.”
Independent School Districts around Texas as well as local city and county governments have made pleas to the Governor to reconsider. Now some have begun openly defying the order.
The first ISD in Texas to openly defy the order was Dallas. The third-largest city in Texas behind Houston, and San Antonio. The Dallas Independent School District announced:
Effective Tuesday, August 10, to protect staff and students from the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, Dallas ISD is temporarily requiring all staff, students, and visitors to wear masks when on district property.
The next ISD in Texas to openly defy the Governor's Executive order was in the capital city of Austin, as ISD officials there announced:
Starting Wednesday, August 11, students, staff and visitors will need to wear face masks when on school properties, Superintendent Stephanie S. Elizalde announced late Monday at a school board meeting. #AISDProud
Across the state, as back to school season begins, there are a number of school board meetings planned to discuss or vote on imposing mask mandates despite Governor Abbott’s orders. Houston ISD is planning a vote this week, as well as the Socorro Independent School District, which is in El Paso.
Governor Abbott's response.
Governor Abbott has not directly commented or addressed the ISD’s who have openly defied his executive order, unlike his fellow Republican Governor — Ron DeSantis in the state of Florida, whose office has all but threatened financial retaliation of Superintendents who defy Florida’s orders regarding mask mandates.
Instead, Texas Governor Abbott has announced what he calls “new measures to respond to the spread of COVID-19:
* bring in additional medical personnel to staff hospitals
* expand Antibody Infusion Centers to prevent hospitalization of those with COVID
* make it easier to get a vaccination”
For now, as a community, every Texan is encouraged to continue to do their part to make sure that we are working together to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and help where we can to take care of our friends, neighbors, and our children.
Texans are reminded that even after they have received either the single-dose vaccine or the second and final dose, they are not considered fully vaccinated until after two weeks have passed.
We are all encouraged to continue to make smart decisions. Although no longer mandated, do what works best for you to protect yourself and your neighbors. If it makes sense for you — wear a mask, practice social distancing when in public, wash your hands and:
Stay healthy, Texas!
What do you think?
Should Texas ISD’s defy the Governor's orders and instate mask mandates in public schools?
Let me hear your comments and feedback in the comments below.
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