MASK MANDATES ARE STILL ILLEGAL: Governor Warns Texas School Districts Trying To Create Dress Code Loophole To Circumvent The State’s Mask Mandate Ban

YouTube screenshot, Courtesy KPRC

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order prohibiting state and local government entities from mandating masks. That included school districts.

Numerous places, such as Dallas County, put mandates in place anyway. The Texas Supreme Court sided with the governor’s office, and upheld the current ban.

Now, school districts have decided to find creative ways to break the law and circumvent the state’s highest court’s ruling.

Texas City ISD is one of those districts. Administrators in the coastal industrial community’s district decided late Tuesday night to implement mask wear as a requirement. They did so by adding the masks to the school dress code.

The governor’s press secretary released a statement discussing the attempted end-around.

“We are all working to protect Texas children and those most vulnerable among us, but violating the Governor’s executive orders-and violating parental rights-is not the way to do it. Governor Abbott has been clear that the time for mask mandates is over; now is the time for personal responsibility. Under Executive Order GA-38, no governmental entity or school district can require or mandate the wearing of masks. There is no loophole. While a school district cannot mandate or prohibit masks, parents and guardians have the right to decide whether their child will wear a mask or not. The best defense against this virus is the COVID vaccines, and we continue to strongly encourage all eligible Texans to get vaccinated.”

But the district had a response ready.

“Texas City ISD agrees that vaccinations are a great defense against COVID-19. However, all of our students aged 11 and under are not eligible to receive the vaccine, which means that 8 of our schools have 0 percent of students vaccinated. Therefore, the district stands by our decision that masking is the preventative measure that we can take to give our staff and students the best chance of not contracting COVID-19.”

Lost in the argument of whether masks actually prevent spread of the disease are the studies that show the harmful effects of extended mask-wear in children.

As reported by KTRC ABC 13, “John Rataino was supposed to start his 8th grade year at Blocker Middle School on Wednesday.”

Instead, he went home after he refused to wear a mask.

“I don’t like to wear a mask,” said John. “They were handing out masks and I said ‘No, thank you.'”

His mother, Rachel, came and picked up up. She said that she is proud of him for standing for his convictions.

“I think it should be up to the individual to choose whether to wear a mask. Kids already have so many things forced upon them through the school district,” Rachel said.

Texas City is not the only district to thumb its nose at the governor’s directive.

Paris ISD, in northeast Texas, also used the “dress code” revision.

“The Board of Trustees is concerned about the health and safety of its students and employees. The Board believes the dress code can be used to mitigate communicable health issues, and therefore has amended the PISD dress code to protect our students and employees,” the school district said in the release.

“Nothing in the Governor’s Executive Order 38 states he has suspended Chapter 11 of the Texas Education Code, and therefore the Board has elected to amend its dress code consistent with its statutory authority,” the release continued.

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